As voters began selecting their next president, Donald Trump repeatedly warned that Election 2016 was “rigged.” Millions of people, Trump said, are registered in two states and may therefore vote twice. Others would steal identities from the dead. Voting machines would malfunction. In January, less than a week into his presidency, Trump told lawmakers that between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused him to lose the popular vote — though not the election itself — to Democrat Hillary Clinton. He told senators a tale about ineligible voters being bussed into New Hampshire from Massachusetts. Trump then tapped Vice President Mike Pence to lead an investigation into voter fraud. … That’s not how Matthew Masterson sees it. Masterson, the newly minted Republican chairman of the bipartisan U.S. Election Assistance Commission, ranks Election 2016 among the most trouble-free elections ever.
The Center for Public Integrity last week spoke with Masterson about a range of election-related topics. Among them: voter fraud and suppression, U.S. House Republicans’ attempts to kill the Election Assistance Commission and his own goals for his one-year chairmanship at the tiny agency.
Formed by Congress after the 2000 presidential election’s Florida voting disaster — remember “hanging chads”? — the Election Assistance Commission largely exists to adopt voting system guidelines, promote election integrity and help states improve their balloting processes.