President Donald Trump has signed an order to collapse his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
The Trump administration had faced opposition or limited cooperation from most states, when the commission controversially requested voter information, such as Social Security numbers and addresses.
In a statement, the White House said, “Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry. Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”
After announcing that he was dissolving the committee, Trump tweeted on Thursday morning that the “system is rigged, must go to Voter ID,” adding that it was “mostly Democratic states” that refused to share voter data because “they know that many people are voting illegally.”
Many mostly Democrat States refused to hand over data from the 2016 Election to the Commission On Voter Fraud. They fought hard that the Commission not see their records or methods because they know that many people are voting illegally. System is rigged, must go to Voter I.D.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018
Only Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Washington State had complied with all of the commission’s requests. California, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico and South Carolina had all signaled their unwillingness to cooperate.
EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has declared victory in the commission’s demise. The non-profit, which was the first to sue the Trump administration over the issue, noted that it has a pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the US Department of Homeland Security “for records concerning the federal government’s collection of personal data on voters.”
Late last month, a US appeals court gave the Trump voter fraud commission a minor victory, dismissing EPIC’s lawsuit claiming the commission violated federal privacy protection requirements of the 2002 E-Government Act.
In January 2017, one week into Trump’s presidency, Trump tweeted that at least 3 million illegal votes had been cast in the 2016 election, citing an unverified claim by the app VoteStand.
The commission had been expected to release a report in 2019. Its vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, recently told Fox News that there have been 938 voter fraud convictions since 2000, which he called just the “tip of the iceberg.”