The Democratic National Committee is launching a new voting commission to combat a recently announced Trump administration effort — to investigate voter fraud — which Democrats fear will lead to voter suppression in poor and minority communities. The commission will document and report on “voter suppression tactics” and make recommendations for strengthening access to the polls for all Americans, according to a statement provided to USA TODAY. It is part of a broader restructuring by the committee’s new leadership that prioritizes voting rights after a number of U.S. states imposed new restrictions for the first time in 2016, including the swing states of Wisconsin and Virginia.
“President Trump’s commission is nothing but a sham to justify the GOP’s voter suppression efforts across the country,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said in the statement. “While Trump’s misleading claims about voter fraud were probably made to mend his bruised ego after losing the popular vote, he created an opening for Republican politicians to nationalize their efforts to complicate voting and suppress eligible voters,” said Perez.
Consistent with a pledge made during his campaign, the newly minted chair is also reorganizing the DNC to embed multiple voting-rights experts into several departments, including the communications and political units, to flag early problems and to go on the offense.