President Trump has not been shy about raising questions about voter fraud or election integrity. He brought it up repeatedly during his campaign for president, and discussions of fraudulent votes and stolen elections have been occurring across the political spectrum since November. Now the president is working to resolve this issue on a national level.
His latest action on this front is the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. This commission has requested that states provide the names of registered voters as well as their addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliations, last four digits of social security numbers, and voting history going back to 2006. The commission does qualify the request by asking only for information that is publicly available.
This request has caused a lot of controversy with state election officials and the public. Some states are complying, others are refusing, and some are only supplying partial information. State officials are under no obligation to provide this information to this commission.
Supporters of the commission say it is necessary to examine the rolls of registered voters to see if they contain non-Americans, felons who are barred from voting, and people registered in multiple states – and then to see if these ineligible voters have cast ballots.
Opponents of the commission claim that this is a way to purge the voting roles of minority votes and others. They say that this is just another attempt to suppress voting and disenfranchise voters.
There are different aspects to the issue of election integrity. One pertains to voter registration rolls. Because these rolls may not be updated often or checked against other databases, they may contain the names of people who have died, people who have moved to another state, or those who are legally ineligible to vote for other reasons, such as citizenship status. Another issue is whether those ineligible voters have actually voted.
As is so often the case, the debate over these matters is tied up in partisan politics. Many Republicans want stricter scrutiny of voting, contending that it is necessary to ensure that only those who are eligible to vote do so. Democrats, meanwhile, attack such scrutiny as attempts to suppress the votes of people who are likely to vote Democratic.
What do you think? Do you support efforts to examine the voting rolls more closely? Or do you think that this effort is nothing more than a way to keep certain people from voting?