Helen Klein Murillo  //  3/16/17  //  Topic Update


Since taking office, President Trump has cast doubt on the American electoral process--even as the Department of Justice has stepped away from challenges to restrictive voter identification laws

President Trump claimed that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally, costing him the popular vote, and called for an investigation into voter fraud.

o   The claim has been widely debunked (NYT, WaPo).

o   Miles Rapoport of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation blogs that Trump’s claims significantly escalate long-simmering conservative voter fraud allegations.

o   Calling the claim “false and unsupported by any credible evidence,” Rick Hasen outlined the key features of a credible investigation (Slate).

o   Andrew Cohen of the Brennan Center for Justice argued that the President should establish a blue ribbon commission to investigate the claims.

o   Bob Bauer blogged on More Soft Money Hard Law that election experts should not participate in such a commission.

o   Dale Ho, Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, argued that Trump’s claim originated in his crisis of legitimacy but might presage an attack on voting rights under the new Administration (NYT).  Dan Balz similarly argued that Trump’s claims undermine the democratic process and the legitimacy of the presidency (WaPo). This point has also been made by Liz Kennedy and Danielle Root (Center for American Progress) and Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP (WaPo).

The Justice Department reversed its discriminatory intent objection to Texas’s voter identification law (NYT). The Supreme Court had previously declined interlocutory review (Election Law Blog).

Congressional Republicans moved to dismantle the Elections Assistance Commission (Campaign Legal Center), a federal agency tasked with ensuring security and efficiency of federal elections.

With FEC Ann Ravel’s resignation, President Trump could move the FEC toward greater deregulation (Election Law Blog). 


Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ordered all 18 Republican-drawn districts to be redrawn, following a finding that they violate the Constitution. Potential citizenship questions on the 2020 Census could shift the balance of political power towards rural areas and give Republicans a new advantage in drawing electoral boundaries.

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

The White House disbands the "Election Integrity" Commission led by Vice President Pence and Kris Kobach.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017

12/24/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump's voter fraud commission has not been in communication since September, and members are not sure why. The Department of Homeland Security, the Election Assistance Commission and voting equipment industry and nonprofit groups met to launch an election security Sector Coordinating Council.