The 2016 presidential race was filled with controversy from beginning to end, culminating with the election of Donald Trump. Despite winning the electoral votes needed to take office, Trump lost the popular vote by at least 2.9 million to Hillary Clinton.
Following the results of the election, President Trump took to Twitter claiming that Clinton won the popular vote due to widespread voter fraud— a serious accusation, which has been debunked time and time again. After taking office, Trump signed an executive order in May 2017 to create the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to investigate allegations of voter fraud.
As part of the voter fraud commission’s efforts, the body asked all 50 states to hand over personal information on registered voters including their names, dates of birth, and partial social security numbers.The commission also demanded a decade’s worth of voter history and the statuses of ex-offenders.
Many states refused to comply with commission’s demands.
Kentucky Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, referred to the whole ordeal as “a waste of taxpayer money” and futile “attempt to legitimize voter suppression.”
Now, the President has abandoned his quixotic quest to find the alleged millions who voted illegally and his voter-fraud commission has fallen apart. In a statement released by the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said:
“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry. Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action.
Ironically, Trump’s voter fraud commission failure is a triumph for voting rights. Voter ID laws are, in theory, meant to protect the integrity of elections. In reality, these laws target minority communities— particularly blacks and Latinos— that are less likely to have official forms of identification often because of financial constraints.
What you can do about it:
According to the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 34 states require some form of photo identification for registered voters to cast a ballot which keeps large swaths of Americans from exercising their right to vote. The ACLU is leading the effort to change discriminatory voter ID laws across the U.S. Support their fight to end this form of voter suppression.
And then some:
Make sure that you’re registered to vote so that you are able to have a say in how the country is run. VICE Impact has partnered with TurboVote to get people registered and learn more about elections directly affecting your community.