Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Comments On the Election Integrity Commission


JULY 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement Wednesday at the conclusion of the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a commission established by President Trump and co-led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach that threatens the rights of minority voters.

“In today’s meeting, members promoted false and unsubstantiated claims of vote fraud while failing to provide meaningful focus on real problems that threaten our democracy such as ongoing voting discrimination, voter suppression and Russia’s interference with our elections.  The discussion among Commission members makes clear that they are laying the groundwork to promote dangerous policies and laws that will make it more difficult for Americans to register and to vote. This Commission represents a dark moment in American democracy and makes clear this administration’s hostility to advancing voting rights.

“As the nation prepares to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the enactment of the bipartisan Voting Rights Act, we urge Democrats and Republicans to condemn the so-called Election Integrity Commission and work together to protect the voting rights of all Americans.  We intend to challenge this Commission at every turn as it continues to violate federal laws that require transparency and remains a vehicle to promote voter suppression on a national scale.”

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has undertaken a series of comprehensive actions to challenge the Pence-Kobach Commission.  This includes: the launch of a hotline for the public to report instances of voter suppression (866-OUR-VOTE); letters sent to Secretaries of State demanding they not comply with Mr. Kobach’s request for voter roll data; filing a Hatch Act complaint against Mr. Kobach regarding his repeated exploitation of his Commission role to solicit campaign contributions and promote his candidacy for Governor of Kansas; requesting documents regarding the Commission made pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA); and urging Secretaries of State to adopt a bipartisan resolution condemning the so-called Election Integrity Commission.

About the Lawyers’ Committee:

The Lawyers’ Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.  Now in its 54th year, the Lawyers’ Committee is continuing its quest “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.