BALTIMORE – The NAACP vehemently opposes President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity as a thinly veiled attempt to suppress the votes of American citizens, especially those of color. The Commission has requested a wide range of voter data from all 50 states, as well as D.C., under the guise of curtailing fictitious widespread voter fraud. The NAACP is pursuing legal action to prevent voter information from being dispersed in a manner that does not comply with state law and that can harm hundreds of thousands of registered voters.
Researchers have shown President Trump’s claims that three to five million fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 presidential election to be entirely unfounded. According to the Brennan Center, “most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices.” With a voter impersonation fraud incident rate between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent, “voter fraud [is] more rare than death by lightning.”
The politicians that President Trump selected to lead the Commission make its voter suppression intent crystal clear. Vice President Mike Pence will serve as the Commission’s chair, and Secretary of State of Kansas Kris Kobach, known as the “King of Voter Suppression,” will serve as vice chair. Though his claims of rampant voter fraud have been repeatedly debunked, Kobach has dedicated his career to robbing American citizens – namely people of color – of their fundamental right to vote.
The NAACP refuses to stand idly by while those in power seek to take the country back to era of Jim Crow voting laws, and we have taken our disapproval to the courts.
The NAACP’s Indiana State Conference, Texas State Conference, and Salt Lake City Branch have each joined lawsuits challenging their respective chief elections officers’ unlawful disclosure of voter information to Trump’s Commission. In each of these states, production of some of the types of information requested by the Commission is either limited or prohibited by state law, and in some cases, state law provides limitations on how such information can be used. Each lawsuit seeks an injunction forbidding the production of confidential voter information as part of President Trump’s unlawful scheme to rob Americans of their constitutional right to vote.
The health of our nation depends upon an inclusive democracy. The NAACP is staunchly committed to encouraging civic participation and thwarting anyone who seeks to prevent it.