January 5, 2018
Washington, D.C.- Emerald Robinson, Political Correspondent
President Trump’s decision to dissolve the voter integrity commission Thursday came as somewhat of a surprise, even to the members of the Commission on Voter Fraud. Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky says that members received an email only shortly before the president signed the Executive Order to end the commission.
Von Spakovsky says that he understands why the president made the decision to do so, despite his disappointment and frustration. Von Spakovsky validated the president’s explanation for the decision. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that “rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense.”
Von Spakovsky says the demise of the commission can be attributed to two reasons– the refusal of some states to share voter registration information and litigation. “We’ve had almost a dozen lawsuits filed against the commission, all of them frivolous. And those lawsuits were intended to keep us from being able to work and unfortunately they were successful,” said the former commission member.
According to von Spakovsky, commission members spent nearly 100% of their time fighting litigation rather than investigating voter integrity. “It basically became impossible for us to do the work we were intended to do,” added Von Spakovsky.
Members of the panel also suffered personal attacks. Von Spakovsky was accused of sending an email to the Department of Justice requesting that “democrats” not be allowed to serve on the panel. However, the Heritage Foundation fellow refutes that claim saying that he had expressed concerns about democrats joining the panel in a private email months before he himself joined the panel. That individual forwarded the email to the DOJ. Von Spakovsky said that his concern was that democrats would join the panel to sabotage its work–a prediction that proved true according to von Spakovsky.
“One of the democratic members, Matt Dunlap- he’s the Secretary of State of Maine- actually filed a lawsuit against the commission as a member. Again, making all kinds of frivolous claims. And it was lawsuits like that that made it practically impossible for us to work,” said von Spakovsky.
The former commission member says that, despite having little time to work on actual investigation, the commission found evidence of voter fraud citing one specific example where a group evaluated voter data from 21 states. “There ‘s 8,500 cases of clear convincing voter fraud and they said if they looked at the rest of the country there estimating that there were upwards of 45,000 To 50,000 people may have voted illegally twice,” explained von Spakovsky.
Trump signed an executive order abolishing the panel and turning the matter over to the Department of Homeland Security. However, von Spakovsky is concerned DHS will focus solely on cyber security attacks rather than addressing illegal immigrants that may be voting and those people are registered and voting in more than one state.