Reflections on President Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission

We’ve now had a weekend to ruminate on The President’s signing of an executive order last week, establishing a “Commission on Election Integrity.” Even with the perspective of some time, the order and the way it was approached leads to far more questions than answers. Specifically, why is this commission being formed, who will participate on it, and how will it operate? Some thoughts on the why, who, and how:

Just the Facts on Fraud

Six months after the election, there’s still discussion about the extent to which voter fraud exists and whether the White House will follow through with an investigation. In the meantime, election officials across the country have been quietly doing their jobs and are wrapping up investigations from the last election while preparing for the next. The reviews to date confirm what most election officials have been publicly stating for some time – that while the amount of actual voter fraud is not zero, it’s very close, with only an infinitesimal number of cases of potential voter fraud nationwide.

Vote Centers Lead to Cost Savings and Other Administrative Efficiencies

2016 saw more states than ever before use vote centers for early or Election Day voting. In addition to providing a convenient option for voters, vote centers can have the additional benefit of saving money for election officials. They often require an up-front investment in e-pollbooks to ensure that all locations have real-time access to the voter registration list and can require larger locations with different technological needs, however they can also require fewer pollworkers and result in a smoother voting experience for voters.

Average Drop-off Rate in 2016 Down From 2012

Prior to the November general election, many wondered how negative feelings towards both presidential candidates would impact other races on the ballot, since voters in a presidential election often go to the polls to cast a ballot for president and then drop-off for other races.  Drop-off measures the difference in turnout between the race at the top of the ticket, in this case the presidential race, and races further down the ballot, such as a United States Senate race.  Drop-off increases the further down the ballot you go, as voter knowledge of and interest in candidates and offices below the state level decreases.  

Resources on Voter Fraud

The last 24 hours have seen voter fraud back in the news more than three months after Election Day.  There are lots of reports and talking heads out there – including our own David Becker on AC360 – so below I’ve compiled a list of some reliable, nonpartisan reports on voter fraud, as well as reliable resources in the field that can help you sort through the noise and find the truth.

Facebook Drives Record Voter Registration Activity at Deadline

As we reported in September, Facebook outreach to its users contributed to a significant increase in online voter registration activity in the days preceding National Voter Registration Day on September 27. Online registration transactions – both new registrations and updates to existing registrations – appear to have increased more than seven times on average September 23rd (the day Facebook began its outreach) compared to the previous day, with some states seeing as much as a twenty-fold increase.

New State Data to Celebrate National Voter Registration Day

UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL DATA AS OF SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Today, September 27th, is National Voter Registration Day – a day when non-profits, campaigns, and government officials from across the political spectrum join together to encourage everyone to check and update their voter registration, and register to vote if they haven’t already. In just a few years, the organizers of National Voter Registration Day have done a great job of bringing together people who might not agree on many political issues, but are in absolute agreement about one important idea – that our democracy is stronger when more of our citizens participate.