The voting rights community isn’t holding its breath for a “report” expected out of President Trump’s sham election commission that advocates predict will be used as a cudgel for restrictive voting laws. They already have a good idea of how the Trump administration, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will seek to scale back access to the ballot with an approach that has its antecedent in the scandal-plagued Justice Department of George W. Bush. It was signaled clearly in a under-the-radar letter sent by the DOJ to most states late last month. The letter did not get as much as attention as the wide-reaching data request from the Trump election commission—which is being led by Vice President Mike Pence and hard-right Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R)—but voting rights advocates told TPM they find it just as concerning, if not more so.
“It’s very clear the intent is to purge more and more groups who possibly don’t vote the way they want them to vote,” League of Women Voters President Chris Carson told TPM.
Reading the cues in the letter, the National Voter Registration Act stands to be ground zero of the coming voter suppression wars, with experts predicting the feds will use it to pressure states into slimming down their registration rolls.
“It indicates that the focus of DOJ is going to be on pushing states to take more and more people off the rolls, instead of enforcing the provisions of the NVRA that assist voters in getting registered and staying on the rolls,” said Brenda Wright, vice president of policy and legal strategies at the progressive policy and legal group Demos.