Brady Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order on Voter Fraud
Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2017)—Today, Rep. Robert A. Brady, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Administration, issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s executive order seeking an investigation of alleged voter fraud:
Though widespread voter fraud has been found over and again to be a myth, President Trump continues to pursue this investigation with the hopes of explaining how he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. The Committee on House Administration conducted a survey of state election officials which found that the rate of attempted voter fraud is .00000010247. Republican leaders have repeatedly stated that there is absolutely no evidence of voter fraud. There is simply no basis for the President’s claims here.
While widespread voter fraud is a demonstrable myth, widespread voter suppression is a demonstrable fact. Fourteen states placed new restrictions on voting in 2016. These laws ranged from requiring a voter to present a photo ID, to eliminating early voting opportunities. A recent analysis suggests that nearly 200,000 people were unable to vote in Wisconsin because of its suppressive voter ID law. In addition, long lines at the polls and failing voting equipment continue to add obstacles to the voting process. It is no surprise that national voter turnout rates were at a 20-year low.
If the President were truly concerned about election integrity instead of obsessively focused on his margin of victory, he would take steps to do the following:
- Modernize our election infrastructure so that aging and failing machines don’t break down on Election Day and cause prohibitively long lines.
- Institute automatic and online voter registration so that all eligible citizens can cast their ballot free of unnecessary bureaucratic hassle.
- Improve access to the polls through opportunities to vote prior to election day, including evenings and weekends.
These are the among the recommendations put forth by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, created in 2013. The PCEA was a truly bipartisan effort and held hearings around the country to identify ways to improve the voting experience. Unlike the commission called for in President Trump’s executive order, whose task appears to be to find a way to validate President Trump’s tweets and statements on why he lost the popular vote, the PCEA approached their task with an open mind and did not have a specific mandate on what they had to find.
President Trump’s commission is wasting the taxpayers’ dollars on a frivolous pursuit, and we must ensure that the commission is not used as a tool to advocate for further voter suppression tactics.