Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Fighting Back Against Voter Suppression
July 20, 2017 at 10:50 am

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By Valerie Ploumpis, Equality California National Policy Director

Even before he took office, President Trump referred repeatedly to widespread systematic voter fraud, claiming that millions of illegal ballots had been cast, robbing him of winning the popular vote in the 2016 elections.

Despite exhaustive research into these allegations, no evidence of such fraud  (aside from interference by the Russian government) has been exposed. But even in the face of clear proof to the contrary, and aware that making his allegations are damaging public confidence in the legitimacy of the US electoral process, Trump has continued to trumpet his allegations.

Indeed, just last month he established a ‘Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,’ led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach which immediately demanded that all 50 states provide, within two weeks, their states’ voter registration rolls including dates of birth, political party, the last four digits of social security numbers, voter history from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information. To date, 44 states, including California and the District of Columbia, refused to comply.

Outraged by the states’ push-back, Trump shot with a Tweet, ” Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?”

In a direct rebuke to the sham Commission and Trump’s allegations, the Congressional Asian Pacific Islander Caucus (chaired by Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA-27), the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus jointly introduced H.R. 3214, the ‘Anti-Voter Suppression Act.’ This Tri-Caucus bill would repeal Trump’s Executive Order establishing the Commission and would prohibit any federal funds from being used to support the creation of a commission to investigate voter fraud.

Equality California strongly supports this proposed bill and has urged the California Congressional delegation to cosponsor the legislation. We remain committed to fighting any effort to advance voter suppression measures aimed at disenfranchising communities of color, low-income and other historically underrepresented groups, including young people.

An excellent report by the Center for American Progress has further information about the Commission, the National Voter Registration Act, and egregious practices used to block eligible voters from participation: requirements that voters provide proof of citizenship or other documents, and illegal voter purges.

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