Three Cheers for the Demise of Trump’s Vote Suppression Commission

Last week the President disbanded the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. This principal purpose of this group, which existed from May 2017-January 2018, was to seek ways to prevent voter fraud. The specter of millions of illegal voters — which Republicans regularly trot out as the justification for tightening voter registration rules only on people who do not vote for Republicans — has never been borne out by reality. This is a sham argument, made in bad faith and only meant to serve as a pretext for making it harder to vote.

Everyone knew that vote suppression was the real goal, not “election integrity.” Last summer the Commission requested extensive voting records from every state as well as the District of Columbia. Almost every state, whether they have Republican or Democratic Secretaries of State, refused to comply. Indeed, the Republican Secretary of State in Mississippi had the most pungent response to the Commission: go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.

And now after just eight months, and thanks to relentless and well-founded criticism as well as the advocacy of groups like Let America Vote, the vote suppression commission is gone. This is a great day for America, in which the ballot box remains (or at least should remain) sacred.

Wise commentators, such as Jamelle Bouie, point out that the aim of vote suppression will endure even though this commission has disbanded. Sadly, this is true. Vigilance is always necessary, and never more than now given our current President’s fondness for disinformation and propaganda. But as we remain vigilant, let’s give three cheers for the demise of the vote suppression commission. This is what can happen when good people stand up and make their voices heard.