Several prominent newspapers used their Fourth of July editorials to criticize President Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity by accusing it of encouraging voter suppression, The Hill reported on Tuesday.
More than half of the country’s secretaries of state have either declined to provide all of the vast amount of personal voter data requested by the commission — which was established in May by executive order — or completely refused to turn anything over.
The New York Times said that until now the damage voter-fraud ideologues have been mostly local, “but thanks to a president with a fragile ego and a bottomless appetite for conspiracy theories, they have weaponized their paranoia at the federal level.”
The commission’s real goal is “to make voting harder for millions of Americans, on the understanding that Republicans win more elections when fewer people vote.”
The Chicago Sun-Times said all signs indicate the commission “really is just looking for any scrap of information that might support Trump’s unfounded claim that millions of people illegally cast ballots in 2016, which would further efforts to suppress the vote in future elections.”
The editorial stressed that “Previous probes have found that voter fraud at the polls is rare, but vote suppression is on the rise. If this pseudo investigation is used to further suppress votes, it would itself undermine the fairness of elections.”
The USA Today editorial stressed the need to protect against Russian meddling in American elections, saying that on Independence Day “it’s worth remembering that the right to vote in free and fair elections stands at the heart of that independence — and that this cherished right is under attack by a hostile foreign power.”
The editorial bemoaned that “For the most part, President Trump has been in denial about Russian meddling, as if acknowledging the problem threatens the legitimacy of his election, and has focused instead on unproven allegations of extensive voter fraud.”