Trump launches commission to probe alleged voter fraud

Washington, (IANS) US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to establish a commission to review alleged voter fraud and voter suppression in the American election system, the media reported.

After signing the order on Thursday, Trump named Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as the Chair and Vice Chair of the bipartisan “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity”, ABC News reported.

“The commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal elections and provide the president with a report that identifies system vulnerabilities that lead to improper registrations and voting,” deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said while announcing the executive order.

The President first raised the issue of voter fraud in a tweet late November after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emerged with nearly 3 million more popular votes.

Shortly after his inauguration in January, Trump said he would be “asking for a major investigation into voter fraud”.

Till date however, neither Trump nor his team has provided evidence to substantiate the claims, reports ABC News.

Membership of the commission is still taking shape but so far already includes Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and the commissioner of the election assistance commission Christie McCormick.

The commission’s report on its findings is expected sometime in 2018, Sanders said.

Meanwhile, top Democratic leaders reacted with suspicion to the creation of the commission ostensibly designed to protect the “integrity” of the electoral system, reports Efe news.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that at times complaints of electoral fraud have been used as a “pretext” to deny voting rights to working families and to certain communities such as African Americans and Hispanics.

Former Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders said: “The sole purpose of this commission is to propagate a myth and to give encouragement to Republican governors and state legislators to increase voter suppression.”

Medaram Jathara

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