President Donald Trump has dissolved a commission intended to investigate voter fraud after a massive data request by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach led to a backlash from state officials across the political spectrum. The White House announced the dissolution of the panel late Wednesday, citing resistance from states about complying with the commission. Kobach, the commission’s vice chairman, had sought personal information on every voter in the nation in June, a massive data request that spurred multiple lawsuits and backlash from state officials from across the political spectrum. Many states had refused to comply with the request, citing privacy concerns, and even Kansas could not legally provide the commission with partial Social Security numbers as Kobach requested.
… Trump’s decision to form the commission in May and appoint Kobach led to immediate opposition from voting rights advocates, who accused Trump of trying to justify his unsubstantiated claims that millions of illegal votes cost him the popular vote in 2016. Kobach, who has championed stricter voting laws, has promoted the notion of widespread voting by noncitizens for several years despite little evidence.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in a statement that the entire point of the commission had been to “enable voter suppression” and promote “bigoted delusions of widespread voter fraud.”
Kobach, who advised Trump throughout the 2016 campaign and served on his transition team, had advised Trump on making changes to the National Voter Registration Act that would enable states to make additional requirements on voters, according to documents that were unsealed as part of a federal lawsuit against Kobach’s office last year.