President Trump offered some good news to bring in the new year when he disbanded his panel investigating alleged voter fraud in the 2016 election. But while the dissolution of this star chamber spectacle is welcome this saga is not over.
Mr. Trump's refusal to accept that he lost the popular vote to hated rival Hillary Clinton led to his formation of the commission. Bodies created to come to a specific conclusion, rather than objectively investigate an issue, are not to be trusted, and the states, Massachusetts among them, resisted this witch hunt into their voter registration records. Confronted by lawsuits challenging the commission's motivations and actions, combined with the absence of any credible evidence of voter fraud, the president pulled the plug.
"The only fraud was the commission itself," declared Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin in the January 9 Boston Globe. With Massachusetts securely in the Clinton column, busloads of Clinton supporters embarked from Massachusetts to hotly contested New Hampshire to help get people to the polls, which is perfectly acceptable. Mr. Trump, who narrowly lost New Hampshire, claimed without evidence that Massachusetts residents actually voted in New Hampshire. "He made wild allegations about Massachusetts voters going to New Hampshire to vote, which were not true," said Mr. Galvin. "Everybody, including Republicans, said that."
Mr. Galvin discussed the fraud commission after announcing that September 4 will be the date for state primary elections, to be preceded by a five-day early voting period funded by Beacon Hill. Based on information provided by state auditor Suzanne Bump from the last off-year statewide election in 2014 detailing more than $1 million in costs for communities, we urge the Legislature to support a bill providing that sum of money to cities and towns for this year's early voting period.
In announcing the end of the witch hunt for voter fraud, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders followed the lead of President Trump by declaring, without offering a shred of proof, that there is "substantial evidence of voter fraud." With this in mind, Mr. Galvin's counterpart in Maine, Matthew Dunlap, has vowed to continue his legal fight against the commission until he gets all of its records. Mr. Dunlap, who served on the commission at the request of its nominal head, Vice President Pence, saw its workings from the inside and publicly expressed his dismay.
If the president's "election integrity" commission actually discovered "substantial evidence of voter fraud" than why doesn't he want Americans to see it? Why is it tucked away at the Department of Homeland Security rather than the Federal Election Commission? The likely answer to these questions is, as Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York said last week, that the commission was "a front to suppress the vote [and] perpetuate dangerous and baseless claims." We urge Massachusetts to support Secretary of State Dunlap in his effort to dig out whatever the commission supposedly discovered.