Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez believes the Trump administration’s voter fraud panel is suppressing voting, not voter fraud.
In an op-ed piece published in Time, Perez called the commission a “propaganda factory” for voter suppression efforts, saying incidents of voter fraud are too rare to warrant the creation of a presidential panel.
“You’re more likely to see someone fatally struck by lightning than witness a case of in-person voter fraud,” Perez wrote.
The remarks come as Trump’s Presidential Advisory Committee on Integrity prepares to meet for the first time Wednesday after opposition efforts to restrain it failed in court yesterday. The committee has full approval to request voter data from state election officials in an effort to get to the bottom of Trump’s claims that millions of non-citizens voted in the 2016 presidential election.
The true extent to which voter fraud is prevalent is unclear, as PolitiFact has found a number of Trump’s claims to be false. At the same time, non-citizens have been found to be registered voters in some states.
Perez thinks the commission amounts to nothing more than political maneuvering. “This isn’t a war on voter fraud. It’s a war on voters – and it’s only being waged by Republicans,” he wrote.
Headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the standards the panel may institute has many on the left worried. Kobach is the legal engineer behind some of the nation’s most restrictive immigration laws, such as Arizona’s SB-1070.
Perez says that through legal action and work done by the DNC’s Civic Engagement and Voter Participation Department and Voting Rights Institute, Democrats will continue to fight the controversial panel. They have support in local government, as 44 states have already denied complying with the panel’s request for voter data.
“As Republicans try to trample on our most sacred freedoms, Democrats will do everything we can to end discrimination and protect the one right that preserves all others — the right to vote,” Perez maintained.
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