“Kobach ‘Voter Fraud’ Commission Gets Fast Thumbs Down”

Miles Rapoport for TAP:

But, after the initial flurry of responses, a strategy for the longer haul is needed.

First, an aggressive communications offensive is required to counter the Commission’s biases and preconceived notions. ReThink Media and other organizations are putting together resource packages that citizens and organizations can use. Several foundations are discussing putting resources into assembling a group of experts ready to rebut the Commission, tied to a strong communications strategy to get the information out as widely as possible.

A second strategy has been a burst of freedom of information requests—to the vice president’s office, the Department of Justice, the Election Assistance Commission, and the offices of Kobach and all the secretaries of state serving on the Commission, challenging them to say what evidence they have that has prompted the executive order and the call for the Commission. The ACLU, the Brennan Center, and the NAACP LDF have all filed such requests.

A third, potentially major response strategy being seriously discussed is the creation of a proactive, alternative/shadow commission. The discussion first surfaced in the voting rights and elections community back in January, after Trump first raised the idea of a commission. At the time, the consensus was to hold fire, since it was not yet clear that there would be an actual commission.

But now the idea is being discussed anew in multiple forums used by advocates. Several weeks ago, Rutgers Professor Lorraine Minnite, a long time progressive scholar on voting rights and voting integrity, proposed creating a nonpartisan (as distinct from bipartisan) Citizens Commission on Election Integrity and Democratic Values. Such a commission “could prepare summaries of relevant scholarly research, organize an online clearinghouse of information about election administration, conduct public hearings, and issue policy briefs and a final report of its findings with recommendations for federal and state reform.”

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