Government Watchdog Will Investigate Trump's Voter Suppression Commission—Eventually


The Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan watchdog group, announced on Thursday that it would investigate President Trump’s bogus voter fraud commission—but it’s going to take a few months.

The decision to probe Trump’s thinly veiled attempt at voter suppression, deceptively called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PACEI), comes after three Democratic senators—Michael Bennet of Colorado, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota—sent a request to the watchdog less than a week ago.

“We fear the manner in which the PACEI is conducting its work will prevent the public from a full and transparent understanding of the Commission’s conclusions and unnecessarily diminish confidence in our democratic process,” the letter read.

Trump’s commission, which he established by executive order in February, allegedly seeks to provide evidence for the baseless claim that millions of people voted illegally in the last election. The committee’s vice-chair, Kris Kobach, is proof of its ill intentions. As secretary of state in Kansas, Kobach led a crusade against voting rights so vicious the American Civil Liberties Union labelled him as “the King of Voter Suppression.”

An investigation into the notoriously secretive committee’s efforts will not happen immediately. Responding to the congressional request, the watchdog said its resources were limited, but a probe would eventually occur.

“GAO accepts your request as work that is within the scope of its authority,” the letter read. “At the current time we anticipate that staff with the required skills will be available to initiate an engagement in about five months.”

Even without the GAO’s investigation, Trump’s commission has already faced legal challenges and defiant pushback. When the commission sent out an initial request for all 50 states’ voting rolls in June, a majority of states refused to comply.

Hardly any cases of voter fraud have actually been documented—and even if the commission had uncovered some mythical trove of fraudulent voters, the technology it’s using to pursue illegal voting has proven to be wildly imprecise. Errors are so prevalent, Mother Jones reported on Thursday, that Kobach’s own state has been forced to create new software to compensate for its repeated false positives and mistakes.

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