Trump’s “Fraud” Commission


On May 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.” The Commission is charged with studying “the registration and voting processes used in Federal elections” and identifying “vulnerabilities in voting systems” that could lead to voter fraud. Vice President Mike Pence is the chair, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—a known promoter of voting restrictions and the myth of voter fraud—is the vice chair.

The executive order comes on the heels of President Trump’s repeated assertions that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election. For years, claims of fraud have been used to justify unwarranted voting restrictions. There is strong reason to suspect this Commission is not a legitimate attempt to study elections, but rather a tool for enabling voter suppression. 

The Executive Order Establishing the Commission

Read the full text of the Presidential Executive Order on the Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. 


The Danger of the Commission

The Brennan Center, along with public officials, the press, and a wide range of civic and nonpartisan groups, have criticized the Commission’s composition and premises. 

The Myth of Voter Fraud

Study after study has demonstrated that fraud by voters at the polls is vanishingly rare, and members of President Trump’s own party have refuted his assertions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explicitly stated that we should not “spend any federal money investigating” voter fraud.

Commission Members' Controversial Records on Voting

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell have long track records of voter suppression. The other named members include three secretaries of state and one EAC commissioner.

Investigating the Commission

The Brennan Center and its partners have filed public records requests with state and federal agencies to gain more information on the Commission’s goals and operations.




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