Secretary of State Alex Padilla, one of the most vocal critics of President Trump’s unproved accusations of voter fraud, lost in an effort Friday to convince other elections officials to take a stand on the issue. Padilla, attending a conference of the National Assn. of Secretaries of State, had drafted a resolution calling Trump’s repeated allegations of widespread illegal voting “without merit” and urging the president to “cease his baseless allegations about voter fraud.” But he was blocked at the last minute from introducing the resolution at the Washington gathering, even though the bipartisan organization issued a statement last month disputing Trump’s comments. The president’s assertions, never backed up with any specific information, have included the election results certified in California.
” It’s shocking that secretaries of state from both sides of the aisle don’t want to stand up and defend our credibility,” Padilla said in a phone interview Friday.
A majority of the members of the association are Republicans, and Padilla’s resolution sparked the circulation of an alternative and unsigned proposal that claimed “overwhelming” evidence of illegal voting. It urged Trump to “establish a voter fraud task force to root out fraud where it exists in some states.” The president said earlier this month that Vice President Mike Pence will lead such an effort.
Neither resolution was ultimately heard or endorsed.