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Secretary Simon Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order Creating Election Commission

May 11, 2017

Today, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon released the following statement on the president’s executive order creating a commission to study alleged voter fraud and voter suppression, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

“Preserving the integrity of our election system is vital. The test of credibility for any commission looking into possible improvements is whether its leadership appears committed to an unbiased inquiry. The president’s proposed commission seems to fail the credibility test. Vice President Pence serves a president who still falsely and irresponsibly insists that millions of ineligible votes were cast in the last election. Secretary Kobach agrees with those allegations, and has made a national name for himself as a zealous supporter of controversial measures to restrict access to voting – in the name of fighting “fraud.” Both individuals have an interest in steering the commission toward their pre-determined conclusions and outcomes.

Tellingly, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the bipartisan group that speaks for statewide elections administrators, learned about the president’s executive order through press reports this morning. Neither the White House nor Secretary Kobach reached out in any way to the group.

I fear the worst. The commission risks becoming a partisan tool to shut out millions of eligible American voters.

Fortunately, Minnesota has rigorous safety measures in place before, on, and after Election Day to ensure our elections are fair and secure. We know that Minnesotans have confidence in the integrity of our system because our voters just returned us to number one in voter turnout in America.”

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