Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of rampant voter fraud—3-5 million “illegals” and dead people voting in the presidential election and all of them for Hillary—have resulted in backlash from members of all political parties and millions of citizens. Despite any lack of evidence, Trump announced Sunday his plans to place Vice President Pence in charge of leading the investigation into the non-existent fraud.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers recently voted to eliminate the independent Election Assistance Commission that helps states improve their voting systems to prevent voter fraud and protect citizens from voter suppression. Republicans consider the agency government waste and have been trying to eliminate the EAC for years even though voting machines across the U.S. are outdated and in need of replacement.
Voter suppression is a very real threat to American democracy and dismantling the EAC eliminates an important ally of voting integrity. Fictitious claims of widespread voter fraud, on the other hand, undermine democracy at its core.
Please consider this letter we recently received from League of Women Voters President Marguerite Bader. It says much about the damage caused by false accusations.
To the Editor,
Unsubstantiated claims of massive voter fraud—millions of non-citizens and dead people voting—are an insult to the dedicated officials and volunteers, including those from the League of Women Voters who staff our elections and perform their civic duty to protect our democracy. Such unfounded claims undermine the integrity of our voting system and the confidence of the electorate in our institutions. They threaten the viability of our democracy and are often a cover for efforts to suppress the rights of eligible voters who, as Americans, have a constitutional right to vote. These claims are false and should be confronted for the untruths that they are. The media, including our local media, are to be congratulated for presenting the truth about these bogus claims.
Marguerite Bader, President
League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County