President Trump disbanded a voter fraud commission that he convened last year, in the face of legal battles and criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike. “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense,” a statement by the White House read, the commission was ended.
The commission met twice, in Washington in July and New Hampshire in September, to hear testimony about how to improve voter registration and voting integrity. The president has claimed that between three and five million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential election. His opponent in the election, Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote by 3 million votes. Donald Trump won the majority of the electoral college.
Controversy swirled around the commission as it requested voter names, addresses and other personal data from 50 states. Officials in some 15 states, some lead by Republicans, denied those requests based on concerns about privacy.
“This came without warning, but not really as a surprise,” said Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat and Maine’s secretary of state, serving on the commission. “It is a bit disappointing because I was hoping our work would put these voter fraud allegations to rest.”