President Donald Trump’s commission to investigate voter fraud is set to meet publicly for the second time on Tuesday amid continued controversy and lingering questions about its goals and objectives.
Since its creation in May, critics have argued the panel is a way for Trump to justify his unsubstantiated claim that he would have won the popular vote in the presidential election last year had it not been for millions of illegal votes. Critics have expressed considerable alarm at the presence of certain panelists, particularly Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R), as well as former Justice Department officials Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams, because all four have a history of pushing more restrictive voting measures.
An email made public as part of a separate ongoing lawsuit against Kobach shows he was writing a draft of an amendment to federal voting law to make it permissible for states to impose a proof of citizenship requirement to register to vote.
The Tuesday meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, will be divided into three panels focusing on voter turnout, public confidence in elections and electronic voting systems, respectively. Some of the scheduled presentations look to paint a picture of an American election system that is ripe for voter fraud, even though several studies and investigations have shown it is not a widespread problem.
One presentation submitted to the commission around 8,500 likely duplicate votes across 21 states. Unable to access data from all 50 states, the researchers extrapolate their findings to estimate that there are at least 45,000 instances of double voting across the country, a number still considerably short of the three to five million people Trump has alleged voted illegally last year. Those conducting the analysis compared voters’ first names, last names, dates of birth and the first five digits of their social security numbers, but other studies have also shown it’s extremely easy to get false positives when comparing voter data.
Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida, is leading an effort to replicate and verify that study. He cautioned not to jump to any conclusions and that many instances in the report that appear to be double voting could in fact turn out to be…