President Trump’s Voter Fraud Investigation Paving the Way for Tough Rules
US President Donald Trump’s investigation into voter fraud in the Y 2016 election will pave the way for tough voting rules including stringent ID requirements.
This is a signal of the Trump administration’s support for changes in laws that could create new restrictions on voting.
Civil rights groups said our President’s accusations that millions voted unlawfully in November could signal a broader Justice Department shift away from its approach under former Democrat President Barack Hussein Obama of challenging statewide voting laws that discriminate against minority voters.
In a possible early sign of that shift, government lawyers asked just hours after Trump’s inauguration on Friday for a delay in a hearing on whether a voter identification law in Texas was intentionally discriminatory. The lawyers said they were seeking the delay because of the change of leadership.
A new push in the GOP-controlled Congress for federal voting restrictions could include a national voter identification or proof-of-citizenship requirement, and a campaign to update and purge voter rolls or limit registration efforts.
US citizenship is required to vote in American elections, most states allow those wishing to register to simply sign a statement affirming they are citizens without any tangible proof, 32 states require some form of identification at the polls.
President Trump won the state-by-state Electoral College votes needed to secure the Presidency but lost the popular vote to by nearly 3-M ballots in the November 8th election. He has blamed that margin on millions of illegal voters casting ballots for Hillary Clinton.
Announcing his “major investigation” into voter fraud on Twitter Wednesday, President Trump said it would cover “those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal” and “those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time.)”
“Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures,” President Trump said.
New voting restrictions were instituted in 17 Republican-led states after the Y 2012 election, including a photo identification requirement in Wisconsin, restrictions on mail-in ballot collection in Arizona and cutbacks to early voting in Ohio.
Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio and Texas said hundreds of reports of voter fraud had been received and investigated by state authorities in recent years. State election officials in Tennessee and Texas both said that “dozens” of voter fraud reports had resulted in prosecutions.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters the voter fraud investigation would “look at the scope of the problem” before solutions were proposed. “Maybe its voter ID in states,” he said. “But I think we have to understand where the problem exists; how deep it goes; and then suggest some remedies to it.”
Any federal effort to prosecute voter fraud would be headed by President Trump’s Attorney General nominee, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).