President Trump’s precipitous decision Wednesday to shutter his “election integrity” commission — buried amid a slew of revelations from Michael Wolff’s new tell-all book about the Trump campaign and presidency — is good news for Americans who care about fair elections in the United States. Though Trump’s tweets Thursday about voter fraud and his announcement that he will shift the commission’s investigation to the Department of Homeland Security means he won’t let go of the issue, the greatest immediate danger to voting rights seems to have passed. Trump has long made irresponsible and wildly unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud. Before the election, he suggested that there was a great deal of voter impersonation fraud occurring in areas full of poor and minority voters, despite incontrovertible evidence that voter impersonation fraud almost never happens.
After the election, which he lost by more than 3 million in the popular vote against Hillary Clinton, he said that 3 to 5 million illegal (presumably non-citizen) votes were cast. He told ABC interviewer David Muir: “Of those [supposed 3 to 5 million fraudulent] votes cast, none of ’em come to me. None of ’em come to me. They would all be for the other side.”
Just about everyone dismissed Trump’s claims — so far election officials have found about 30 possible cases of noncitizen voting in the 2016 election. The one exception was Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who told a reporter a few weeks after the 2016 election that Trump “is absolutely correct when he says the number of illegal votes cast exceeds the popular-vote margin between him and Hillary Clinton at this point.”