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Experts Available as Trump’s “Election Integrity” Commission Meets Amid Controversy

The Commission was created in May to justify President Donald Trump’s claims that 3–5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election. Since then, it’s been mired in controversy.

September 11, 2017

New York, NY – The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity meets tomorrow in New Hampshire amid a swirl of controversy surrounding Vice-Chair Kris Kobach’s misleading claims last week about voter fraud in the state. 
Experts at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, who have been studying elections and voting rights issues for decades, are available to talk about the sham Commission, comment on the data it’s using — including a Heritage Foundation voter fraud “database” which the Brennan Center recently debunked, and discuss concerns about its likely agenda.

  • Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center. His most recent book, “The Fight to Vote,” was recently published in paperback. From his perspective of seven years as a senior White House aide, he can discuss how the makeup of this commission departs from traditional rules and norms that have guided similar efforts in the past.
  • Wendy Weiser is the director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. She founded the center’s Voting Rights and Elections Project, directing litigation, research, and advocacy efforts to enhance political participation and prevent voter disenfranchisement around the country.
  • Myrna Pérez is deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. She leads the voting rights and elections work, directing both legal and research-oriented efforts to fight voter suppression and expand access to the ballot box for people across the country.
  • Nicole Austin-Hillery is director and counsel of the Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C., office. She is the organization’s chief liaison to Congress and the administration, serving as an advocate for the Brennan Center on a host of justice and democracy issues. She provides both strategic and advocacy counsel ranging from legislative analysis to policy development.

The Brennan Center has produced decades of research and analysis on election issues and the myth of voter fraud. Some more recent products include:

  • An assessment of the Heritage Foundation’s voter fraud “database,” which has become a key resource used by members of the panel. The Heritage Foundation’s claims of almost 1,100 proven instances of voter fraud are exaggerated and devoid of context. The database includes cases from 1948 and 1972. The Brennan Center’s analysis found only 10 instances of in-person voter fraud and 41 cases of noncitizens voting, attempting to vote, or registering. Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, is a member of the Commission and handed out copies of the document to commissioners at their July meeting.
  • blogKobach Discovers College Students Live in College Towns, systematically debunking Kobach’s claims of fraud in New Hampshire, which he says must have occurred because people registered to vote with out-of-state licenses.
  • An analysis debunking Trump’s claims that 3–5 million people voted illegally in 2016. Brennan Center researchers interviewed a total of 44 election administrators representing 42 jurisdictions in 12 states, including officials in 8 of the 10 jurisdictions with the largest populations of noncitizens nationally. Together, they referred only an estimated 30 incidents of suspected noncitizen voting for further investigation.
  • For a continually updated page with everything you need to know about the Commission, click here. And click here to see the Brennan Center’s resources on the myth of voter fraud.

The Commission was created in May to justify President Donald Trump’s claims that 3–5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election. Since then, it’s been mired in controversy. The panel is led by two Republicans: Vice President Mike Pence and Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State. Its members include some of the most notorious supporters of voter suppression laws in the country. And, its first major action — asking states to send personal information about voters — was the subject much criticism from states and legal action from civil rights groups, including the Brennan Center.

For more information or to schedule an interview with a Brennan Center expert, please contact Rebecca Autrey at or 646–292–8316.