Here are the first 10 members of Trump’s voting commission – Washington Post
President Trump’s voting commission lurched into action last week with a request for public registration data on every voter in America, including sensitive personal information like home address, party affiliation, military status and partial Social Security numbers.
The request sparked widespread bipartisan defiance among the states, including a federal lawsuit filed by privacy advocates on behalf of voters. In the wake of the rollout one commission member, Republican Luis Borunda, Maryland’s deputy secretary of state, resigned without explanation.
With Borunda’s resignation, 10 committee members — six Republicans and four Democrats — remain. While the Trump administration has pointed to the existence of Democrats on the committee as proof of bipartisanship, critics say the balance of power on the commission is heavily tilted toward Republicans, a departure from how election commissions have been run in previous years.
Here’s how the commission stacks up. A spokesman for Vice President Pence told The Washington Post that it plans to add new members but did not name specific individuals.
The vice president is the committee’s chair. After the election, he attempted to defend Trump’s false claim that millions of people voted illegally.
During the inaugural call with members of the committee, Pence said, “The integrity of the vote is a foundation of our democracy; this bipartisan commission will review ways to strengthen that integrity in order to protect and preserve the principle of one person, one vote.”
As governor, Pence supported a wide-ranging crackdown of a statewide effort to register African American voters, saying the effort was tied to voter fraud.
The committee is vice-chaired by Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who contends that voter fraud is common and widespread despite all evidence to the contrary. He’s made it a signature issue of his tenure in Kansas, authoring a number of strict voter-ID provisions, some of which have been struck down in federal court.
Like Pence, Kobach publicly supported Trump’s false claims that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election.
Most recently, Kobach was fined $1,000 for misleading a federal judge in a voting rights case. Kobach is running for governor of Kansas and is the subject of a Hatch Act complaint alleging he “has repeatedly exploited his Commission role to promote his candidacy and to solicit campaign contributions, including by promoting his campaign through media interviews where Mr. Kobach appeared in his official capacity as a Commission representative.”
The former Ohio secretary of state is another die-hard believer in voter fraud. He wrote in 2008 that the voting process needs to be protected from “unsavory activists who are looking to subvert the election.”
As secretary of state, Blackwell received widespread criticism for attempting to mandate that all voter registration forms be submitted on heavy cardstock, rather than on standard paper. The 2004 presidential election he oversaw in Ohio was plagued with problems and Blackwell became the subject of at least 14 election-related lawsuits.
Indiana’s secretary of state co-wrote the state’s strict voter-ID law, one of the nation’s first, when she was a state senator.
After the commission sent out its request for voter data last week, Lawson said in a statement that state law prevented her from fully complying with it.
McCormick was appointed by Barack Obama to the Election Assistance Commission, the federal office created to help states comply with federal election reforms, in 2014. In 2016 she testified in support of Kobach in a lawsuit over whether states could require proof of citizenship to vote by mail according to NYU’s Brennan Center, a party to the lawsuit.
Previously, McCormick was an attorney in the voting section of the Justice Department’s civil rights division.