Democrats Will Regret DHS Takeover of Voter Fraud Investigation
File this one under the heading, "be careful what you wish for, you might just get it."
Under the heading, “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it,” the satisfaction Democrats, other leftist organizations and their media allies derived from President Donald Trump’s decision to disband the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, may be short-lived.
Not that they get it — yet. Thus, the reliably feverish Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reiterated the Left’s tiresome tropes that ensuring the integrity of American elections constitutes “a front to suppress the vote” and an effort to “perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims.” Schumer further insisted the Committee’s disbandment demonstrates that “ill-founded proposals that just appeal to a narrow group of people won’t work, and we hope they’ll learn this lesson elsewhere.”
Schumer’s assertion that protecting elections resonates solely with a “narrow group” is laughable. A 2015 CBS News poll revealed a majority of Americans considered voter fraud to be fairly widespread, and a 2016 Gallup poll revealed a whopping 80% of Americans favor requiring voters to provide photo ID to cast a ballot. Moreover, a 2007 Gallup poll and a 2012 Washington Post poll both revealed more Americans are concerned with voter fraud than voter suppression.
So why did Trump shut down the Commission? “Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry,” Trump said in a brief statement last Wednesday. “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”
Leftists will likely regret the shift and fittingly, they have only themselves to blame. As columnist Thomas Lifson explains, Democrats made so-called Russian hacking of the election “a national security issue. This opens the door for DHS — armed with far more investigatory power than any commission might exercise — to go full bore at election fraud,” he writes. “President Trump tried it the nice way, only to encounter obstruction. Now it is time for Plan B, and I am pretty sure that Democrats will not like it at all.”
Kobach, who led the Commission along with Pence, was equally explicit. “What’s happening is a tactical shift where the mission of the commission is being handed off to Homeland Security without the stonewalling by Democrats,” he stated. Kobach also hammered reliably leftist organizations like the ACLU and the NAACP, along with congressional Democrats and their Commission members, who attempted undermine its work at every turn. “They have absolutely no interest in stopping voter fraud,” Kobach declared. “It’s truly extraordinary that one party in our system has made clear that they don’t care.”
The most critical aspect of the change? Leftists who often use the courts to get what they want (or prevent that which they don’t) will no longer have that option. “The investigation will continue. And it will continue more efficiently and more effectively,” Kobach warned. “By throwing their food in the air, [Democrats] just lost their seat at the table.”
At least eight lawsuits have been filed against the Commission, largely based on accusations that asking for state voter data, much of which is on the public record, violated open-records laws, or breached privacy protections. Moreover, Democrat Commission member and Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap filed his own lawsuit, accusing the commission of hiding information from him. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly partially agreed, saying the panel should provide him the requested documents.
Despite the commission being disbanded, Dunlap insists it still has to honor the judge’s decision. “I didn’t want to go to court,” he told The Daily Signal. “All I wanted, honest to God, was to participate and get an answer to all of my questions.”
Dunlap was also concerned about the change of course. “How many driver’s licenses has Homeland Security issued?” he asked rhetorically. “None. How many elections has Homeland Security run? None.”
Despite Dunlap’s take, DHS’s outsider status is a good thing. Driver’s licenses? Twelve states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Vermont and Washington, plus the District of Columbia — allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses. Of those 12, only Utah favored Trump in the 2016 election. Only three — Washington, Nevada and Hawaii — were willing to provide the Commission with any information.
As for running an election, Americans might be shocked to discover that at least 38 states currently or will soon allow voters to register online, and 14 currently or will soon permit voters to register on Election Day. Moreover, according to Ballotpedia, 34% of the states have no ID requirement to vote, 24% have non-strict, non-photo voter ID laws, 20% have non-strict, photo ID laws, 6% have strict, non-photo ID laws, and 16% have strict, photo ID laws.
In other words, there is ample opportunity to commit voter fraud.
Nonetheless, Democrats would have Americans believe lax registration and voting procedures, coupled with wholesale resistance to investigations, has a non-existent or marginal impact on the integrity of elections. Moreover, they insist any effort to conduct an investigation that would either reveal fraud — or the lack thereof that would validate their assertions — amounts to “a wild-goose chase for voter fraud, demonizing the very American voters whom we should all be helping to participate — with the not-so-secret goal of making voting harder with unnecessary barriers,” according to Dale Ho, director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project.
That would be the same ACLU whose executive director, Anthony D. Romero, called for the DOJ “to appoint a special prosecutor to independently investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian interference in November’s election and for Congress to create a select committee, akin to the Watergate select committee, to ensure an adequate and public resolution of this crisis” — to “preserve our constitutional values.”
Thus, some allegations of voter fraud are “more equal than others.” And despite Democrat denials, the Commission did document 8,471 cases of double-voting in elections in 21 states, and 938 voter fraud convictions since 2000. Moreover, the same Democrats who have issues with the DHS’s current effort to supersede their resistance, had no problem when Obama administration DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson determined that state election systems were “critical infrastructure,” requiring federal oversight due to “hacking” concerns — despite no evidence of hacking.
Again for leftists, hacking by extra-national entities is highly problematic, but “hacking” by thousands of potentially ineligible or double voting individuals, including “extra-nationals” (read: illegals), is no problem at all.
In short, the Democrat Party’s stance on investigations of voter fraud is highly selective. Any DHS investigations that might prove inimical to their interests amounts to “disenfranchisement,” while any investigation that even hints at delegitimizing the current president — courtesy of a Special Counsel armed with extra-constitutional power — must be pursued with unrelenting vigor.
How Democrats miss the searing irony that the special counsel’s investigation provides a powerful justification for the DHS’s investigation is anyone’s guess.
Let the proverbial chips fall where they may.