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.