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Campaign Updates

09/11/2017 | Strengthening Voting Rights and Democracy

Trump’s Presidential Electoral Commission: a partisan attack on political participation

Statement from Voting Rights and Democracy Director Emma Greenman


NEW YORK – Emma Greenman, director of the Voting Rights and Democracy campaign, for the Center for Popular Democracy, released the following statement ahead of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity’s second hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 12:

“Voting is one of our most sacred rights in our democracy. Trump’s sham commission on “election integrity” is undermining this very right to vote. This sham commission is operating under suspicious lack of transparency, gross partisanship and has revealed its unwillingness to address the actual threats to our democracy -- starting with the security breaches and hacking attempts that we saw in the last election to the increase of state restrictions targeting Black and Brown voters.

A simple look at the agenda for the September 12th commission meeting makes clear that this is just part of a “pernicious crusade to roll back voting rights”, as The Washington Post called it. The hearing line up exposes the true intent of this hearing. The lineup for this hearing provides further evidence that this is was never a bi-partisan attempt to improve the electoral system and help people to vote. Rather it is a cynical and calculated attempt by President Trump and his voter suppression allies to undermine faith in our elections in order to erect barriers to voter participation for purely partisan gain. We must reject any attempt to restrict participation to our democracy, including this alarming attempt to undermine trust in our elections and to skew elections by changing the rules to suppress the participation and vote of communities of color and young people.

Trump’s commission is a who’s who list of people with extensive histories of voter suppression and disenfranchisement of Black and Brown communities. Look no further than Hans Van Spakovsky, a member of the Commission also set to testify at the hearing, who led a crusade at the Department of Justice targeting minority voters and has championed state voting restrictions that limit voter participation. For the information released by the White House, it’s clear The commission plans to present questionable research and misleading evidence to justify their plan to further restrict the vote and limit access to the ballot."

The make-up and agenda of this commission is particularly troubling given Trump’s shameful response to the white supremacy on parade in Charlottesville. As business, labor and community leaders resigned from other White House commissions and councils because of Trump’s refusal to condemn the racist, anti-Semitic, white nationalist movement march, not a single member of the Pence-Kobach Commission has considered resigning or questioned the Commission’s role in perpetuating the disenfranchisement of people of color.

Instead of making voting easier and safer, the Pence-Kobach commission is evidently promoting voter restrictions that would prevent millions of eligible voters from participating in our democracy. We need to be expanding participation and fighting for inclusive democracy where everyone's voice is heard.  Promoting pro-voter reforms like automatic voter registration, same day registration and online voter registration proven to make our systems more accessible and secure and that encourage voter participation. "



The Center for Popular Democracy promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial justice agenda.