11 May STATEMENT: Trump’s commission on “Election Integrity” is a threat to voting rights

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Contact: Zenen Jaimes Perez, Communications Director
Phone: 512.474.5073 ext. 116
Email: zenen@texascivilrightsproject.org

STATEMENT: Trump’s commission on “Election Integrity” is a threat to voting rights
Claims of voter fraud have been repeatedly proven false, while voter suppression is rampant.

Austin, TX –  Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order establishing the “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity,” formed to review alleged voter fraud in American elections. Trump plans to appoint Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State of Kansas to lead the commission.

Let’s be clear: Allegations of rampant fraud in our election system have been repeatedly proven to be false. For instance, you are much more likely to be struck by lightning in Texas than to have someone impersonate you at the polls. Yet, the Trump administration continues to make false statements calling into question the integrity of our democracy.

Plus, Kobach has led efforts to make voting and voter registration more difficult for years, showing open hostility to critical civil rights laws like the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA), targeting historically disenfranchised communities with devices like unfair ID requirements, and burdening potential voters by requiring documentary proof of U.S. citizenship before registering to vote. Kansas also made Kobach the only secretary of state in the country with the power to prosecute voter fraud — and then made violations of state election laws a felony.

The Texas Civil Rights Project has filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas under the NVRA for voter registration failures at the Department of Public Safety that potentially disenfranchise more than 1.2 million Texans annually. Our team won’t stop fighting to take back the vote in Texas.

Beth Stevens, Voting Rights Director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, said:

“Creation of the commission sends a clear message to the American people: the Trump administration would rather waste time and resources pursuing baseless conspiracy theories than ensure that all eligible voters have a chance to cast a ballot that counts.

Kris Kobach’s hostility to the NVRA and other civil rights laws that protect and expand the right to vote cannot be overstated. In a time when we need to encourage more people to participate in our democracy, the administration’s actions are doing just the opposite.”

The Texas Civil Rights Project uses legal advocacy to empower Texas communities and create policy change. In its twenty-five year history, TCRP has brought thousands of strategic lawsuits, defending voting rights, fighting institutional discrimination, and reforming systems of criminal justice. Today — with dozens of high-caliber attorneys and professionals in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, and an extensive network of pro bono counsel and community allies — TCRP is among the most influential civil rights organizations in the Lone Star State.