Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced he has introduced an amendment to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that would prohibit funds from being used for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Commission, created by a Presidential Executive Order in May, is tasked with investigating the prevalence of voter fraud in the 2016 election despite the fact that numerous studies have shown that in-person voter fraud is virtually non-existent. In just its first weeks of operation, the Commission made a sweeping request for detailed voter information for every registered voter in America, appearing to lay the groundwork for a push to place new restrictions on voting that disproportionally disadvantages minority voters.
“This commission is an effort to validate the President’s repeated and baseless claim that millions of fraudulent ballots were cast in the 2016 election, and I fear it lays the groundwork for new efforts to make it more difficult to vote across the country,” Rep. Schiff said. “Congress should put an end to this charade before it can do additional damage by agreeing to this amendment, and we should instead enact measures that make voting more accessible for all eligible Americans.”
The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriation Act allocates funding for government programs for Fiscal Year 2018. The bill will be considered by Congress in September.
Echoing other Democrats and voting rights advocates, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the commission has been set up to justify new voting restrictions — such as strict photo ID requirements — that could impose barriers to legitimate voters, especially minorities.
“California’s participating would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the president, the vice president and Mr. Kobach (Kansas’ secretary of state),” said Padilla.