Sarah Mahmood  //  5/14/17  //  Topic Update

President Trump signed an executive order creating a presidential commission on “election integrity” based on his false claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2016 election (NYT, AP, WaPo).

  • Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a proponent of strict voter identification laws, has been tapped to head the initiative (CNN).
  • Kris Kobach will make the commission a voter-suppression/vote rigging commission, fomenting anti-immigrant and racist fears, writes Jed Shugerman on Take Care.
  • Tomas Lopez and Jennifer Clark offer a detailed history of Kris Kobach’s anti-voting history at The Brennan Center.
  • “This is not a good day for those who believe we should have a system where all eligible voters, but only eligible voters, can easily cast a ballot that will be fairly and accurately counted,” writes Rick Hasen on Election Law Blog.
  • Secretary Kobach’s presence on the commission raises concerns about vote suppression, writes Ari Berman in The Nation.
  • In response, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request to uncover information the Trump administration is using as the basis for its voter fraud claims.
  • The Brennan Center collected statements critical of the order made by state election officials from across the country, and issued a statement of its own labelling the commission “a sham and a distraction.”
  • The executive order is nothing more than a demand to investigate baseless voter fraud allegations, argues Ally Boguhn (Rewire).

Preclearance orders may return as courts around the country strike down discriminatory voting rights laws, suggests Pema Levy (Mother Jones). 

How did Trump successfully campaign against "political correctness" when that phenomenon "began to decline in significance after peaking in the mid-1990s, roughly two decades before Trump launched his presidential campaign"? (Dorf on Law). 

The resignation of the Director of the Census Bureau raises questions about the upcoming 2020 census, notes Clare Foran at The Atlantic.

  • Jordan Weissmann called the Director’s unexplained resignation “disturbing” (Slate).

President Trump overwhelmingly meets with rich white men and few ideological opponents (Politico).


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.

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.