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Press Release

Brennan Center Statement Against the Election Fraud Commission in the Senate Stimulus Check Bill

Brennan Center president Michael Waldman calls on the Senate to drop the commission from the bill.

December 30, 2020
Contact: Rebecca Autrey, Media Contact,, 202-753-5904

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) yesterday introduced S. 5085, legislation that would increase Covid-19-relief checks from $600 to $2,000 for individual Americans. It includes two provisions unrelated to the pandemic: funding for a commission to investigate alleged voter fraud and the repeal of section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934.

Brennan Center for Justice president Michael Waldman had this reaction to the proposed commission on fraud:

“The idea that America needs to spend its money on a futile search for systemic voter fraud in the 2020 election slanders voters, election officials, and the courts. It would waste taxpayer dollars on a debunked conspiracy theory.

"In the face of a pandemic and voter suppression, this was a remarkably well-run election. For the last two months, the Trump campaign and its supporters have tried and tried to challenge the voters’ decision. They have brought dozens of false claims of wrongdoing. Almost sixty court rulings have rejected these claims. There are plenty of things to improve about our democracy. But this kind of panel would be little more than officially sanctioned innuendo. 

"Joe Biden was elected president, winning the biggest margin for a presidential challenger since 1932. Such a commission simply seeks to smear mud on that victory. This bogus pursuit has hurt our democratic institutions for too long. It is being used to justify restrictions on access to the polls. It is undermining the incoming administration’s ability to start its work. It does not deserve a federal commission. The Senate must drop it from S. 5085.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to doom an increase in stimulus money that Americans need by tying it to a commission in search of a fantasy. President Trump already tried to find systemic voter fraud through his 2017 commission led by Vice President Mike Pence and then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. They failed.

“Instead of hunting for imaginary problems with our democracy, Senator McConnell should address the real obstacles to fair representation: voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering, and an upside-down campaign finance system. The necessary reforms are in H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. That’s the repair our democracy needs.”

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