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LDF Monitors Presidential Election Integrity Commission

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7/03/17
Political Participation | Barriers to Voting

As part of our mission to defend every American’s right to vote, LDF has been closely monitoring the Administration’s Election Integrity Commission, which is tasked with investigating the president’s unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election. We will continue to monitor the commission’s activities and take action where needed to prevent voter intimidation from the federal government. 

Click here to be taken to Resources and Documents for this case. 

2/14/17 "The president lays the groundwork for a nationwide voter intimidation program": NAACP Legal Defense Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill In The Washington Post 

Although “voter fraud” has long been on the list of myths perpetuated by state-level Republican leaders to justify onerous voter ID laws, even Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse the president’s views about widespread voter fraud. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that no federal dollars should be used to support the president’s search for voter fraud. Ayotte rejected Trump’s account of her defeat.

Thus, the president and his team’s peculiar repetition of claims about voter fraud must be recognized for what it is: They are laying the groundwork for forthcoming efforts. We should prepare for the president to issue a sweeping executive order requiring a nationwide investigation of alleged voter fraud. The justification for it will be as unmoored from facts, as was the basis for the seven Muslim-majority countries selected for the president’s travel ban. And the results will be just as, if not more, pernicious.
Read the full article here. 

5/11/17 NAACP Legal Defense Fund Statement on Expected Voter Fraud Commission

"This commission is a thinly veiled voter suppression task force. Far from upholding the integrity of our election system, it is designed to impugn the integrity of African American and Latino participation in the political process. We are not mollified by President Trump’s passing reference to investigating voter suppression in this order. The real intent of this commission is clear. "
Read full statement here.
Read a pdf of our statement here.

5/11/17 LDF Filed Freedom of Information Act Requests in Response to Voter Fraud Commission

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in response to the executive order filed earlier today that establishes a commission to investigate President Trump’s false allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election. This commission is a thinly veiled attempt at delegitimizing Black and Latino participation in the political process, and should be of grave concern to all Americans.
Read full note on request here.

5/26/17 LDF Expanded Efforts to Monitor Presidential Election Commission

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent Freedom of Information Act requests to two states seeking documents related to President Trump’s recently formed Presidential Commission on Election Integrity. These requests follow two earlier rounds of requests that LDF sent earlier regarding the commission's establishment: the first consisted of requests to the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Justice, the second went to the Kansas Secretary of State and the Indiana Governor.
Read full request here. 

6/29/17 LDF Statement on Kris Kobach's Request for Publicly Available Voter-Roll Data

LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement on the voter-roll data request:"These extraordinary letters confirm what we suspected when the President announced the creation of this commission: that it is little more than an attempt to enlist the Executive Branch in voter suppression efforts on the false pretext of preventing election fraud. These sweeping requests by an ad hoc task force to compel the states to turn over voter information about private citizens, constitutes a breathtaking assertion of federal power. In essence, this commission attempts to make states a partner in the naked effort to create a justification for voter suppression. While our elected officials waste tax-payer resources on efforts aimed at curbing access to the voting booth, we continue to wait for responses to our many requests for information to which the public is entitled."
Read full notes on request here.

6/30/17 LDF Letter to New York State Attorney General Schneiderman Opposing Release of Publicly Available Voter-Roll Data

"This sweeping and intrusive request risks creating a justification for voter intimidation and suppression, especially against communities of color. As an organization that since its founding in 1940 has worked to secure, protect, and advance voting rights for African-American and other communities of color, we applaud you for joining an ever-growing list of statesincluding California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Wisconsin that are declining to provide this information or limiting in scope their response."
Read full pdf of letter here. 

7/01/17 Sherrilyn Ifill on the Rachel Maddow Show: Voter Fraud Lie Being Used to Justify Voter Suppression


NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show on Friday, June 30, to discuss the Administration’s Election Integrity Commission, or, as we have called it, the “Voter Fraud Commission.” In the interview, Ms. Ifill discussed the commission’s attempts to legitimize the myth of voter fraud in order to justify widespread voter suppression, a tactic she accurately predicted in a February op-ed in the Washington Post

7/18/17 LDF and Local Alabama Organization File Federal Lawsuit Challenging President's "Election Integrity" Commission

Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) joined the Ordinary People Society in filing a federal lawsuit against the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which the President created by an executive order signed on May 11. Our complaint alleges that the commission was formed with the intent to discriminate against voters of color in violation of the Constitution. We also contend that the President exceeded his executive authority in forming a commission to investigate individual or groups of voters, and that the commission’s overwhelmingly skewed composition and pre-determined findings violate the law governing federal advisory committees.

Read the full statement here.

7/22/17 Sherrilyn Ifill Discusses Trump's Voter Fraud Commission on AM Joy

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill joined MSNBC's AM Joy on Saturday, July 22, to discuss what many see as an effort to codify and nationalize initiatives that experts say ultimately result in voter suppression. LDF filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration's "Election Integrity" Commission, alleging that the commission was formed with the intent to discriminate against voters of color in violation of the Constitution. 

7/23/17 Todd Cox Discusses the Voter Fraud Myth on PoliticsNation

Todd Cox, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund's Director of Policy, appeared on MSNBC's PoliticsNation to discuss President Trump's Election Integrity Commission and the voter fraud myth. Mr Cox points out that you're more likely to be hit by lightning than to encouter in-person voter fraud and speaks on the make-up of the President's commission, which includes the voter suppression dream team of Kris Kobach, Hans Von Spakovsky, Ken Blackwell, and J. Christian Adams.

7/27/17 Sherrilyn Ifill in Salon: Trump's Election Integrity Commission Is Illegal and Unconstitutional

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund recently filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission as illegal and unconstitutional. Our complaint makes clear that to falsely allege that voter fraud exists is nothing more than a pretext for the suppression of Black and Latino voters. Ours is the seventh suit against the commission, and the first to allege that it discriminates against voters of color.

Statements made by President Trump and his surrogates demonstrate the connection between race and the commission’s search for voter fraud. Without offering any evidence, the president has repeatedly claimed that voter fraud is rampant in the U.S. and that he lost the popular vote in the 2016 election because of millions of “illegal” votes cast for Hillary Clinton. He has couched these allegations in racially coded terms, implying that voter impersonation is perpetrated mostly by immigrants or residents of predominantly Black urban centers. A few weeks before the election, then-candidate Trump told a predominantly white crowd in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, “I just hear such reports about Philadelphia. … We have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us.” He added: “Everybody knows what I’m talking about.”

Read the full op-ed here.

8/31/17 LatinoJustice and MALDEF Join LDF and The Ordinary People Society in Lawsuit Challenging the President’s Election Integrity Commission

LatinoJustice PRLDEF and MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) have joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) in challenging the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The amended complaint adds seven plaintiffs who seek to enjoin the Commission, which we contend was created to discriminate against voters of color.

These plaintiffs are: #HealSTL, NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, NAACP Florida State Conference, Hispanic Federation, Mi Familia Vota, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, and Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

Read the full statement here


Documents  and  Resources

Freedom of Information Act Requests to DOJ and OMB

Freedom of Information Act Requests to Maine and New Hampshire Secretaries of State

Amended LDF Complaint Against Election Commission 

LDF Complaint Against Election Commission

KORA Follow-up Letter to Kansas Re: Denial (07/25/17)

LDF KORA 2nd Request of Kansas Secretary of State 

Letter Response to Premotion Conference