U.S President Donald Trump set up his laughably named “Commission on Election Integrity” purely because he believes (without any evidence whatsoever) that Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton won 3 million more popular votes than he did in the last election because of millions of people fraudulently voting (mostly immigrants, of course). Most commentators agree the real goal of the Trump election commission is to ensure wide-scale voter suppression, something that has historically benefitted Republicans.
But now the commission is engulfed in scandal, as one of its lead researchers was recently arrested for child pornography. That’s progress, though probably not the kind that Trump wanted.
Maryland State Police recently searched the home of 37-year-old researcher Ronald Williams II and found that he had child pornography on his phone. The New York Daily News reports that “It’s unclear how long he worked for the voter commission,” but also states he was terminated from the commission around the time of his arrest.
Williams now faces six counts of possession of child pornography and five counts of distribution.
But let’s be clear: The Trump Election Commission is bullshit.
The Atlantic points out that Trump’s commission is pushing for stricter voter ID laws with the stated aim of reducing voter fraud, but voter fraud is an infinitesimally small problem in the United States. (And certainly not large enough to determine the outcome of a nationwide popular vote.) And such voter ID laws have mostly succeeded at disenfranchising legitimate voters, particularly people of color who typically vote for Democrat candidates. An estimated 21 million Americans of voting age lack an ID.
The Trump election commission also held an “expert” panel last month in which the panelists “invoked unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in order to argue for the necessity of a commission to prove that voter fraud exists.”
Thank goodness the recent reports of Russians hacking our voting machines are being handled by a completely different, bipartisan group of actual cybersecurity experts known as the Election Critical Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council — phew!
Featured image by Sadeugra via iStock