President Trump’s Fraudulent Fraud Squad
By Dale Ho
Last week, President Trump signed an executive order establishing a presidential advisory commission on “election integrity.” Its mission is not to examine why the United States has one of the lowest turnout rates in the western world or to investigate the intelligence community’s consensus that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election.
Instead of addressing those very real issues, the stated purposes of the commission include finding evidence of “fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting,” and identifying “practices that enhance the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting processes.” But the commission’s design and personnel indicate that its true purposes can only be the opposite: to undermine public confidence in elections with trumped up evidence of fraud, in order to pave the way for restrictions on voting.
Let’s start with two basic facts. First, the biggest threat to elections integrity is that not enough eligible Americans participate in our democracy, calling into question the basic premise that our government reflects the will of the majority. The United States ranks 31st among the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in voter turnout. The recent French presidential election saw turnout of about 68 percent, a 30-year low for France, which led some commentators to bemoan the apathy of the French electorate. But that “low” turnout rate for France was still about 13 points higher than U.S. turnout in 2016. The U.S. has not cracked 65 percent turnout of eligible voters since 1968.
Second, we do not have a problem of waves of ineligible people who are clamoring to vote. There is not a shred of evidence to support President Trump’s assertions that 3-5 million supposedly illegal votes that were cast in the 2016 election (or, […]