Several states have already rejected a voter data demand from Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, calling it an effort to suppress voters. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)







  Michigan must continue to reject Trump's advisory commission on election integrity

As the nation observes Independence Day, it is important to remember the words of one of our founders Thomas Jefferson who said, “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Op-Ed by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony
Detroit Branch NAACP President

DETROIT -- At this most critical time in our nation’s history, it is important for all of us to stand like a rock, to defend and protect our freedom and democracy. Michigan should join the ten other states along with the District of Columbia in non-compliance with this bogus request regarding voter data information. California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia have all indicated their intentions not to comply. It is also most interesting that Kansas, the home state of the Vice Chair of this commission Kris Kobach, has also rejected and indicated their non- compliance. Even Texas has joined in the chorus of those who refuse to submit to this unconstitutional violation of citizen’s privacy, laws, and election integrity.

We applaud the action of Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to partly deny this presidential request. It would have been preferred that Michigan send a clear message that we will not surrender the rights, privacy, and electoral privilege of Michigan citizens to a government that is out of control. Michigan indicated it will provide the commission with information already available which includes voter’s birth years but not their full dates of birth. We will not provide social security and driver’s license information, or the voters voting history. This information is protected under privacy laws. This commission, from its core, appears to be simply a scam.

President Donald Trump has openly declared without any basis of fact, evidence, or proof that as many as three to five million people voted illegally in the November 2016 election. There have already been many studies reflecting that there is no such evidence of massive voter fraud. We believe this commission, on its present course, is simply another effort to create an alternative reality of the 2016 election. It appears to be an effort designed to convince the nation that President Trump did not lose the popular vote by three million plus votes. Further, it is reflective of a greater purpose to intimidate, reduce, and eliminate voter protection, voter mobilization, and voter participation of minority communities, youth, seniors, and the elderly.

We believe that our nation should spend more time to increase voter turnout than it does on reducing the voter impact.

1. Extend the Voting Rights Act to its fullest and most complete capacity.
2. Initiate same day voter registration and participation.
3. Update voting equipment nationwide.
4. Establish more precincts for access to the polls.
5. Allow for weekend voting rather than one day participation.
6. Make national elections a national holiday.
7. Better educate and incentivize poll workers and volunteers.

These are a few of the efforts that our government should spend time addressing and fixing.

When President Trump asks the question, “What do the states have to hide by not providing this information,” we believe that there are better questions to ask. We say, no Mr. President, those are not the questions. The real questions that Americans have are what do you have to hide by not providing to the people your tax information and returns? What do you have to hide by ignoring the Russian investigation and failing to act on Russian intrusion into our 2016 elections? One can sum this whole initiative up by using the words of our 45th President, “COVFEFE”. We are certain that he and his administration understand exactly what that means.











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