President Trump's Commission on Election Integrity convened for the first time in New Hampshire on Tuesday, with N.H. Secretary of State Bill Gardner joining commission Vice Chairman Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, in hosting the daylong session at St. Anselm College's Institute of Politics.
After a more than six-hour meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Tuesday, panel Vice Chairman Kris Kobach walked back a controversial claim he made about New Hampshire's 2016 election in a September 7 opinion piece on the conservative news website Brietbart.
Gardner blasted Kobach for arriving with "preconceived, preordained ideas about what the facts are going to turn out to be".
When the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was established four months ago, Kobach asked authorities in every USA state to turn over complete records of everyone who voted in those jurisdictions, with full personal details - a demand that was immediately rejected by the states, nearly unanimously.Complaints and concerns that states used to justify their refusal to cooperate with Kobach's investigators included the threat of computer hacks, and equally widespread concerns about the federal government amassing too much personal information in one database. "And it is real and valid", Gardner told Kobach as a small audience applauded Gardner's comment. Yet, in the recent finding, as of August 30, which is 10 months following the local senate elections, "only 1,014 of the 6,540 same-day registrants who registered with an out-of-state license had obtained a New Hampshire driver's license". Pence and Kobach were joined on the commission by Hans von Spakovsky, J. Christian Adams and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, all men who built their careers trying to suppress the vote, particularly for seniors, students and people of color.
Vermont is one of a handful of states that has implemented both same-day voter registration and automatic voter registration when a person get a driver's license.
Reckless, he said, because of New Hampshire's residency requirement.
"There are reasons why someone might legitimately register to vote with an out-of-state license - most obviously, they could have moved to the state recently or could be attending college here".
Kobach somewhat backed off his op-ed, saying he "struggled with the words - what verbs to use". Kobach said he struggled with "what verb to use" in his column because it's a "complex legal issue", NBC News reports, so he made a decision to say it "appears" there was possible fraud.
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Soon after his victory, then-President-elect Trump claimed "in addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally". Among them is the Crime Prevention Research Center's John Lott Jr., who will advocate for background checks for voters, and last wrote about fraud and elections in 2007.
Under previous election law, would-be "same day" voters seeking to register without the required documentation had to sign an affidavit attesting to the fact that they have a domicile in New Hampshire.
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National and state Democrats had pressured Gardner to quit the panel, arguing that his participation serves to legitimize what they see as a sham commission in place only to justify Trump's conspiracy theories. "We won't let them get away with it", said Dale Ho, director of the voting rights project at the American Civil Liberties Union.
New Hampshire, where Trump and Republican incumbent Sen. "And I will not, either".
The email's author, whose name was originally redacted, was concerned that the administration's voting commission would include Democrats and "mainstream Republicans and/or academics". So Democrats on the panel are preparing rebuttals themselves.
- Enact federal regulations that make it a felony for a voter to be registered to vote in more than one county or parish, regardless of whether they vote in more than one location on election day or not.