January 5, 2018 | The Hill
By Michael Thielen
President Trump has shut down his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PACEI), also called the “vote fraud commission.” Some Democrats and their allies in the liberal election administration community are cheering as if they have won a war. In a sense, they did nuke the field of bipartisanship that existed in the election administration field. No voter should be happy about this.
The left opposed the PACEI when it was only a rumor, before any of its members were announced and its mission was declared. A great example is the source of much election news: a formerly center-left, now full-time Trump resister, Professor Rick Hasen of the Election Law Blog. Before this commission even announced its scope or membership, Hasen not only opposed the PACEI but also strongly opposed any Democrats participating.
This effort went so far as attacking Democratic members of the commission when they were announced and complaining if they did not obstruct the PACEI’s hearings. Hillary Clinton’s longtime election lawyer Marc Elias even disputed that the longest serving secretary of state in the nation, Bill Gardner of New Hampshire, was really a Democrat. Another small example, Hasen blocked my group from his Twitter account for agreeing with a liberal reporter that the PACEI was acting in a bipartisan fashion.
Why is this hatred so strong? Besides that it is the liberal election administration community’s way of participating in the Trump “resist” movement, they feared the PACEI because the last two presidential election commissions have recommended corrective measures that go against the liberal agenda.
President Obama’s Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA) strongly endorsed the need for states to have procedures in place to keep accurate voter registration lists. While most voters, including Democrats, support these common-sense measures, the liberal election administration community considers any such efforts “purging” and “racist.”
Ironically, while Obama’s election lawyer and commission co-chair Bob Bauer was supporting such list maintenance, his law firm was representing the Democratic Party in Virginia in a lawsuit against Virginia’s list maintenance program. Fortunately, the court rejected the Democrats’ efforts, saying there was no evidence of voter disenfranchisement.
However, Obama’s commission was not nearly as bad to the liberals on election administration as the previous commission headed by Democratic President Carter. Carter’s commission recommended voter ID. Voter ID, although consistently supported by the majority of Democrats in polls, is completely anathema to liberal activists.
The left has good reason to fear and oppose any commission on elections: even with the involvement of prominent Democrats, the last two election commissions damaged their hysterical narratives. Contrary to the liberal’s narrative, the PACEI disbanding does not prove there is no vote fraud; rather, it proves liberals fear looking into this issue because things such as illegal non-citizen votes favor the Democratic Party in elections.
We have to look no further than the key swing state of Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation’s voter registration system was set up to either deceive or encourage non-citizens to illegally register to vote in elections when legally obtaining their drivers licenses. This scandal is only going to grow bigger as the investigation into the number of non-citizens who registered and voted is ongoing, with current estimates in the thousands or tens of thousands statewide.
In the end, liberals won this battle to prevent any inquiry into fraudulent votes and messy elections, but may lose the war. When the President disbanded the PACEI, he also “asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues.” The PACEI had no power to obtain lists or access to databases such as the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), a list of persons’ immigration status maintained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
If DHS reviews the issues that the PACEI was tasked with studying, it could use the SAVE database to help states fix their voter registration lists and find non-citizens registered and voting much more efficiently than an advisory commission ever could, as election officials have been clamoring for for years. Places like Pennsylvania could clean up their lists and stop illegal registration and voting by non-citizens.
So Democrats have “resisted” the bipartisan efforts, in the fine tradition of the last two presidential election commissions, to study and propose solutions to fix our elections. Sadly, the American people are those who lose the most whenever the liberal election world is “successful.” Every illegal vote cancels out the vote of an American citizen, who has lost the right of self-government due to the political agenda of liberal activists. But the left may lose the war, as their victory may hurt their real goals and make it easier to stop non-citizens from registering and voting.