Democratic members of President Trump’s voter fraud commission are voicing mounting frustration about its mission and lack of collaboration, raising questions about the future of a bipartisan panel that has been a magnet for controversy since its inception. In just the past week, two of the commission’s four Democrats have written letters to its executive director, demanding basic information such as when the panel might meet again, what kind of research is being conducted by its staff and when it might send a report to the president. Their concerns are being fed by suspicions that the panel’s direction was preordained and that the agenda is being driven by its Republican members, several of whom would like to see restrictions on voting imposed that would be detrimental to Democrats. “I think the basis of this whole commission was an urban legend,” said Alan King, a probate judge in Alabama and one of the Democratic members who recently wrote commission leaders seeking information. “If you’re going to go down this road, it needs to be done right, and it needs to be done in a professional way. So far, I haven’t seen that.”
The commission was launched by Trump following his baseless assertion that he would have won the popular vote if he hadn’t been thwarted by as many as 5 million illegally cast votes.
The 11-member panel, which is nominally chaired by Vice President Pence and formally known as the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, has met publicly twice, in Washington in July and in New Hampshire last month. A third meeting has yet to be announced.
“For all I know, we may never meet again,” said Matthew Dunlap, Maine’s secretary of state and a Democratic commissioner.