President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday that will set up a special commission to investigate voter fraud and suppression in the U.S. election.
While most of us were distracted by the firing of the former FBI Director James Comey, the order named Vice President Mike Pence as the chair of the “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.” The goal of the committee: to review the nation’s election system based on Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.
“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 of the executive order. Trump claimed widespread voter fraud to explain why Hillary Clinton won the popular vote with almost 3 million votes, despite providing zero proof.
“You can never really find, you know, there are going to be — no matter what numbers we come up with there are going to be lots of people that did things that we’re not going to find out about,” Trump told ABC News’ David Muir in January. “But we will find out because we need a better system where that can’t happen.”
The new commission appears to be an attempt to fix the so-called problems in the system.
The bipartisan commission includes Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is the Vice Chair, as well as Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson (R), New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner (D), Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D), former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) and the commissioner of the election assistance commission Christie McCormick.
Their final report is expected to be finalized in 2018.