In the early days of his first term, President Trump made the claim that there were between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes cast in the 2016 presidential election, causing him to lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. Although never offering a credible shred of evidence for this astonishing claim and to assuage his bruised ego (also see claims of inauguration crowd size), within a few months he authorized the formation of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

From the onset, the Commission was controversial, not only for the detailed voter data it requested, but also for the lack of transparency on what it intended to do with the data. It is not surprising that many secretaries of state, both Republican and Democrat, pushed back or simply refused to comply. One of the Commission members even had to resort to filing a federal lawsuit in order to obtain documents on the work being done by the Commission, because details were not being shared with Democratic members.

Now we have been informed that the President has suddenly disbanded the Commission and will instead, drop the “issue” into the lap of the Department of Homeland Security. Yet again with this announcement, he claimed “substantial evidence of voter fraud,” evidently in an attempt to save face. Many state election officials, election experts, governors, and legislators strongly rejected the notion of widespread voter fraud to the degree claimed by President Trump, asserting that such a claim defies all logic.

Time will tell whether the DHS will actually do anything with this spurious voter fraud claim. If they have their priorities in order, they will let it rot on a shelf, never to see daylight again.

Steve Rowlet, Mason City

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