An upstate New York developer pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in a voter-fraud scheme designed to elect public officials who would support his real-estate project. Kenneth Nakdimen is scheduled to be sentenced in September in the U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y. for one count of conspiracy to corrupt the electoral process. Prosecutors said Mr. Nakdimen and his associates falsely registered voters to overcome local opposition to their 396-unit townhouse project in the tiny Catskills village of Bloomingburg. The developers anticipated making hundreds of millions of dollars from the development, according to prosecutors.
Editorials: Maine SoS Dunlap badly mistaken in agreeing to serve on Trump voter fraud panel | Richard Hasen/Portland Press Herald
Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is making a serious mistake by agreeing to participate in a sham “voter integrity” commission established by President Trump to validate his ludicrous claims about voter fraud. But it is not too late for Dunlap to withdraw, and it’s the right thing to do. Arguments about the extent of voter fraud and voter suppression are not new, with Republicans tending to claim that voter fraud is a major problem that requires laws making it harder to register and vote, such as strict voter identification laws. Democrats see these laws as aimed at suppressing the votes of those likely to vote for Democratic candidates.
New Hampshire: Disagreement at State House over payment for Gardner’s participation on Trump election commission | WMUR
Top Democrats and Republicans in the New Hampshire Legislature disagreed Monday on whether Secretary of State William Gardner should use taxpayer funds and state time for his activities as a member of President Donald Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity. House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff asked Gardner to participate on his own time and not use state money. But Republican House Speaker Shawn Jasper and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley disagreed and said the state should pay for Gardner’s travel to and from — and participation in — commission meetings.
President Trump has empaneled a commission to investigate voter fraud. The real fraud is the commission itself. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is to be led by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Mr. Kobach, a Republican, is a longtime champion of voter suppression laws who seconded as “absolutely correct” the president’s fabricated assertion that Hillary Clinton’s victory in the popular vote, which she won by nearly 3 million ballots, was a result of “millions of people who voted illegally.” Mr. Kobach is notorious for erecting impediments to the ballot box — specifically, ones that would disproportionately discourage and deter minority and other Democratic-leaning voters. His presence as the commission’s vice chair — Mr. Pence’s other responsibilities make it likely that Mr. Kobach will be the panel’s driving force — makes a farce of the idea that the commission’s work will be dispassionate, fair and clear-eyed.
National: How Trump’s new ‘election integrity’ appointee has unleashed chaos on elections in the South | Facing South
President Trump signed an executive order last week creating the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to promote “fair and honest Federal elections,” following up on his unproven claims that he lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton because of widespread voter fraud. The commission will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, and its vice chair will be Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, also a Republican. Kobach’s appointment has alarmed voting rights advocates, who point to his record of making unsubstantiated claims about the extent of voter fraud — which study after study has found to be negligible — and using them to promote strict voter ID laws and other policies that make it harder to vote.
National: ACLU files Right-to-Know request with Secretary of State over election commission | New Hampshire Union Leader
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire has filed a Right-to-Know request with Secretary of State Bill Gardner, seeking information about his participation in the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The commission is headed up by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The Right-to-Know request in New Hampshire is part of a national campaign targeting commission members who currently serve as secretaries of state.
President Trump is doubling down on his false claims of voter fraud, fulfilling his promise to appoint a commission to study election integrity. We should see this move for what it is: a simple ploy to play into the misperceptions of his base, regardless of the evidence. More significant, if the focus of the commission is on election integrity, than it will be asking the wrong questions. We do not need a commission to tell us what we already know: Voter fraud, while existing occasionally in local races, is rare. Instead, we need to study why we make it far too hard for many people in this country to vote and what we can do to promote positive voting reforms. We need a commission on voter enhancements, not voter fraud.
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to step in and potentially overturn a lower court ruling that North Carolina’s restrictive voter-identification law is unconstitutional, specifically for how it targets black Americans. While this decision counts as a win for voting rights, it comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will lead President Trump’s new Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity. Trump, of course, claims that millions of people voted illegally in the last election; Kobach supports that claim.
National: Experts say Trump’s voter fraud commission is a solution in need of a problem | Sinclair Broadcast Group
On Thursday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to create a new commission to investigate his claims of widespread voter fraud, reigniting the storm of skepticism that has surrounded his past allegations of election interference and rigging. … Fact-checkers, state election authorities and lawmakers from both political parties have largely dismissed Trump’s claims that of election fraud since November 8. Immediately after the announcement of the new commission, some suggested that the administration will be using taxpayer resources to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist. Other critics suspect even more nefarious motives, suggesting that the panel’s leadership and its mission may actually be an effort to justify stricter voting laws that could suppress the vote.
President Trump’s repeated claim that “millions” of noncitizens voted illegally in the 2016 election has always been transparently self-serving — a desperate attempt to soothe his damaged ego and explain how he could have lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost three million votes. It also lined up nicely with a yearslong crusade by Republican officials to convince Americans that “voter fraud” is an actual problem. As Mr. Trump’s own lawyers have pointed out, it’s not. But that hasn’t stopped the president from trying, as he so often does, to commandeer the machinery of the federal government to justify his own falsehoods. The most recent example was his creation last week of an advisory commission whose ostensible goal is to “enhance the American people’s confidence in the integrity of the voting processes,” with an emphasis on weeding out “improper” or “fraudulent” registration and voting.