“Elections: State Progress, Federal Train Wreck”

Miles Rapoport for TAP:

Two issues, however, were too fraught with partisan conflict to achieve any consensus on the part of the assembled secretaries of state: Russian hacking and calculated interference in the election, and the president’s claim of massive voter fraud….

Bill Gardner has been secretary of state in New Hampshire for 41 years, reveling in New Hampshire’s role in the primary, proud of the fact that the state ranks consistently in the top five states in terms of turnout, and very protective of the integrity of his elections. So when Trump insisted, and White House aide Stephen Miller repeated, that “anyone who has done any work in New Hampshire” knows that buses of illegal voters from Massachusetts come to New Hampshire every election, Gardner was really angry. But he says he doesn’t want to just categorically deny it; he wants to show Mike Pence and the president: “Appoint a fair commission with Pence at the head, no election officials on it,” Gardner said. “Come to New Hampshire. Look at everything, everywhere, including the pictures we take of anyone who votes without a picture ID. See what fraud you find. And if you don’t find any, please stop saying it.”

Iowa Secretary Paul Pate and Colorado Secretary Wayne Williams were more circumspect. They both said that they do not see anything like the kind of fraud the president alleges, but if anyone can produce evidence that there is, they will look at it carefully. So when California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the chair of the elections committee, circulated a resolution criticizing Trump and defending the integrity of the elections, the buzzing and huddled conversations began. There were efforts to soften the language, and the Republicans drafted a counter-resolution. But when the motion was made to consider the resolution, a Republican secretary immediately moved to adjourn the meeting, blindsiding Padilla. The motion carried, the meeting ended, and the silence was loud and sullen,

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