The White House announced Wednesday that President Trump's controversial Advisory Commission on Election Integrity - which was mired in lawsuits and had received pushback from states over voter data requests - has been dissolved.
"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".
In a statement, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeated Trump's oft-made claim of voter fraud, but said that "rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense", Trump had ended the commission and asked the Department of Homeland Security to take up the review of USA election systems.
President Donald Trump has dissolved the commission investigating alleged voter fraud that it said happened during the 2016 election.
On Thursday, Trump turned his attention to stronger voter ID laws.
Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project, accused the commission of engaging in "a wild-goose chase for voter fraud, demonizing the very American voters whom we should all be helping to participate - with the not-so-secret goal of making voting harder with unnecessary barriers".
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Dunlap provided BuzzFeed News with a copy of an email time-stamped at 6:49 p.m. on Wednesday from the commission's designated federal officer, Andrew Kossack, notifying the commission members about the president's decision to dissolve the group.
"It is no surprise that a commission founded on a lie of widespread voter fraud proved to be a fraud itself", said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, who had refused to comply with the commission's request for voter data.
"It's telling that even in his announcement to its long overdue demise, President Trump continues the false narrative that there is 'substantial evidence of voter fraud", Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said January 3.
Democrats and voting rights groups were quick to cheer the panel's demise. System is rigged, must go to Voter I.D.
Leaders from dozens of states including Democratic-leaning bastions such as NY and Trump-won Republican states such as Texas, either refused to comply with the commission requests completely or rejected them in part citing privacy laws.
"The commission's entire objective was to legitimize voter suppression", Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and former head of the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division, told the Times. "It was a change in tactics", Kobach told USA TODAY. They included concerns that the commission's ultimate goal was voter suppression primarily targeting the poor and minorities, voter privacy and issues of states' rights. She said the Brennan Center has filed lawsuits seeking more transparency from the commission and plans to file a new Freedom of Information Act request about the shift to DHS. But several states expressed concern over how such information might be used by the administration.
On Thursday, Kobach told the AP that the Department of Homeland Security could move forward by checking its list of non-citizens living in the USA against voter registration data. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said the commission "never had anything to do with election integrity".