Trump Signs Executive Order to Form Voter Fraud Commission

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President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to form a commission to investigate voter fraud and voter suppression in the United States.

The newly formed body, called the "Presidential Commission on Election Integrity," will be spearheaded by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach–who will serve as chair and vice chair, respectively.

"The commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of federal elections–including improper registrations, improper voting, fraudulent registrations, fraudulent voting, and voting suppression," a White House official told reporters Thursday before the signing, according to Politico.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that the order was signed during the White House daily press briefing.

Trump has discussed voter fraud since the beginning of his administration and indicated he would launch an initiative to address the issue. The president has previously called for an investigation to examine his unfounded claims that millions of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

The intent of the commission, which will include both Republicans and Democrats, will be to study "vulnerabilities" in U.S. voting systems. The body will also look at voter suppression and voter fraud–both in terms of registration and actual voting.

A senior Trump administration official told CNN on Thursday the effort will be bipartisan and include current and former state election officials. Some outside groups will be included as well.

The commission's review is expected to address more than the 2016 election. According to one ABC News source, the body will study the "systemic issues that have been raised over many years in terms of the integrity of the elections."

The voter fraud commission is expected to have its first meeting this summer and will be expected to submit its findings in a report in 2018.

An administration official told ABC News that membership for the commission is already being discussed. Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson (R.), New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner (D.), Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D.), Christie McCormick, commissioner of the election assistance commission, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R.) are all reportedly being considered for the commission.

Trump was expected to sign the executive order regarding voter fraud in late January after taking office, but the order became delayed due to Trump's schedule.

In late March, Trump told Time magazine that the committee would be set up to determine whether voter fraud occurred in 2016.

"We'll see after the committee. I have people say it was more than that. We will see after we have. But there will be, we are forming a committee. And we are going to do a study on it, a very serious problem," Trump said.

Trump has repeatedly claimed voter fraud occurred since his election victory in November over Hillary Clinton, who receive about three million more popular votes. Trump has said he lost the popular vote because "millions of people" voted illegally, although his claims are so far unsubstantiated.

Madeleine Weast

Madeleine Weast   Email Madeleine | Full Bio | RSS
Madeleine Weast is Assistant Social Media Editor for the Washington Free Beacon. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2014. Prior to joining the Beacon, she was a Communications Fellow at The Charles Koch Institute. Madeleine is from Prairie Village, Kansas and lives in Washington, D.C. Her Twitter handle is @MadeleineWeast.

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