Trump launches commission to investigate voter fraud

President Donald Trump plans to create a commission on Thursday to investigate voter fraud and voter suppression, a White House official said, a move that follows Trump's unsubstantiated claims of massive voter fraud in the 2016 US election. And instead of convening an unnecessary commission on "election integrity", Washington should immediately act to restore the Voting Rights Act and the critical protections it provides. Vice President Mike Pence will chair the panel and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will be vice chair of the commission, which will report back to Trump by 2018.

Democrats have long accused Republicans of trying to suppress turnout among minority and low-income voters, sometimes by erecting barriers - like requiring identity cards for voting - and sometimes by intimidation.

Many state election officials are also anxious the commission will divert attention from other serious concerns, such as aging equipment and the threat of hacking.

The commission is expected also to be charged with looking into other irregularities and problems in the voting process, including duplicate and outdated voter registrations.

Trump began making his allegations of widespread voter fraud shortly after the election, claiming that he would have won the popular vote - which he lost by almost 3 million votes - if there had not been so many votes cast illegally.

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Voting experts and many lawmakers, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, have said they haven't seen anything to suggest that millions of people voted illegally.

"He fired the person investigating a real threat to election integrity, and set up a probe of an imaginary threat", Waldman said.

Trump, who took office in January, has said there was widespread voter fraud in the November election. New Hampshire officials have said there was no evidence of major voter fraud in the state.

The bipartisan commission being established on Thursday would not be limited to investigating Trump's election fraud claims but would look at issues that had been raised over many years. Kobach has long claimed that there's widespread illegal voting by noncitizens in the USA, despite the lack of evidence.

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