By State Representative, Leon D. Young
Donald Trump is notorious for dismissing legitimate criticism and inquiry about himself, his family or administration as nothing more than fake news — buttressed by his obsession that the media is out get him. Since taking office, Trump has put forth so many baseless and absurd assertions that everything he utters must now be fact-checked for its veracity.
Trump has long contended that he won the popular vote. However, the facts suggest a far different reality. According to revised and certified final election results from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Democrat outpaced Trump by almost 2.9 million votes. In fact, more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than any other losing presidential candidate in US history. Nevertheless, Trump still alleges that millions voted illegally in 2016, without producing not one shred of evidence as proof.
This in turn has led Trump to convene his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Created by executive order in May, the commission has sent a letter to all 50 states requesting a bevy of voter data, which purportedly will be made available to the public. When states began to express concerns about the legality of the administration’s efforts to investigate voter fraud, Trump called them out on Twitter, questioning whether they were hiding something.
Now, most of states have begun to push back. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have refused to provide certain types of voter information to the Trump administration’s election integrity commission, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states. State leaders and voting boards across the country have responded to the letter with varying degrees of cooperation — from Altogether rejecting the request to expressing eagerness to supply information that is public.
Here’s the situation in Wisconsin. According to Michael Haas, administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), “Wisconsin statutes do not permit the state to release a voter’s date of birth, driver license number or social security number. However, state statues permit the WEC to share confidential information in limited circumstances with law enforcement agencies or agencies of other states. The President’s Commission does not appear to qualify under either of these categories.”
As most, if not all, empirical data clearly suggests, there is NO rampant voter fraud in this country. In truth, the President’s Commission is nothing more than a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems, voter suppression and documented Russian interference in our elections. Once again, Mr. Trump is purveying another fake issue.