The so-called “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” that President Trump created after false claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 elections holds its first in-person meeting at 11 a.m. ET in Washington Wednesday.
The White House is livestreaming the meeting, being held at the White House complex. You can watch it here:
From its announcement, the commission was viewed with heavy skepticism from election law experts, given Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations about voter fraud and concerns that it would be used as a pretext to push restrictive voting laws.
Their worries were exacerbated when Trump named Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — one of the country’s most vocal proponents of restrictive laws — as the commission’s vice chair, under its chair, Vice President Mike Pence. Since, Trump has named other GOP officials who have histories of seeking to scale back voting rights. The few Democrats participating have come under fire from civil rights groups, for giving it bipartisan cover.
A data request for states’ voter registration information, which voting rights advocates fear will be manipulated to boost the appearance of fraud, also backfired on the commission, as many states rebuffed the request due to privacy concerns. As a result of the data request, the lack of transparency, and the underlying goal of the commission, it now faces a number of lawsuits.