The homepage for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity Resources, aka Donald Trump’s “voter fraud” commission, contains the following instruction:
“Any member of the public wishing to submit written comments for the Commission’s consideration may do so via email at ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov. Please note that the Commission may post such written comments publicly on our website, including names and contact information that are submitted.”
The committee was established in the wake of Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that “millions” voted illegally in the 2016 election with the goal of investigating voter impersonation.
Between June 29 and July 11, the commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, received nearly 100 emails from voters.
True to their word, they posted them publicly — without redacting names or e-mail addresses.
Only four were supportive of the project.
The rest expressed fear, resentment, and opposition. Many bluntly. Some laced with profanity.
Turns out, many Americans aren’t too thrilled about having their private information complied in a massive public database.
“When you call the bank, do they ask for your full social or just the last 4?” one voter wrote, expressing concern over the form asking for part of his SSID number. “So if someone wanted access to my bank account information, the address, full name, DOB and last four social is EXACTLY what they would need.”
Some took issue with the sketchy policy record of the comission’s leaders.
“This commission is a sham and Kris Kobach has been put on it expressly to disenfranchise minority voters,” a California voter replied. “I am ashamed that my taxpayer dollars are being used for such purposes.
Others argued that the commission should investigate Russian interference instead.
“What you should be addressing is the ability of foreign nationals to hack into our election servers and not only try to change the registrations but possibly change the actual vote,” another wrote. “You should be worried about how each state secures the votes and the voter registrations.”
One voter, who identified himself as a priest, blasted the effort as a vanity project for the president.
“I have watched your activities in Kansas trying to suppress voters on the basis of fraudulent claims of massive voter fraud for which there is absolutely no evidence,” he wrote. “Our new agency is preparing, it seems, to rig elections. You, sir, are the fraud and neither you nor our President are to be trusted. Mr. Trump’s claims that millions of fraudulent votes were cast against him is the ravings of an egomaniac who can’t stand to lose. I hope and pray that you fail.”
Many were simply curt — and blunt.
“Does the term ‘secret ballot’ mean anything to you?” one wondered.
Dozens more voters wrote in.
Most were … less civil.
Multiple studies have cast major doubt on the existence of widespread voter fraud.
A review of 1 billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014 found only 31 verifiable cases of voter impersonation.
Meanwhile, an Civis Analytics analysis commissioned by Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA found Wisconsin’s voter ID law may have reduced turnout by approximately 200,000 voters “disproportionally” hailing from communities of color.
Many Americans, it seems, have had enough of being misled.
As of July 5, 44 states and Washington, D.C., have refused to turn over at least some voter information to the commission. More could do the same in the coming weeks.
“Your nonsense worked when it was in the dark,” one voter wrote to the commission, “But you won’t get away with this.”
If the vast majority of those who wrote Kobach and Pence’s team get their way, they won’t indeed.