Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently compared President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to the neo-Nazi protesters of Charlottesville. This comparison is both wrong and offensive as the commission is set up to do exactly what Schumer asked for later in his same rant when he called for “public debate about these issues where experts can discuss policies like same-day registration as well as alleged voter fraud.”
So why does Schumer threaten to “prohibit [the commission’s] operation?” Simply put, current Democrats and their allies on the left have opposed virtually every major bipartisan election administration reform proposed by their fellow Democrats and liberals in this century. They have opposed such reforms even when political leaders such as former Democrat President Carter have backed them.
They oppose election administration reforms because a messy election system helps them beat outsiders within their own party such as Bernie Sanders and those outside the party, such as Republicans and Green Party candidates.
Schumer further writes about efforts to “intimidate voters.” Ironically, while there have been allegations of Republican intimidation, the actual of incidents of intimidation are often perpetrated by Democrats.
For years now in the Democrat stronghold of Philadelphia in the swing state of Pennsylvania, there have been issues with Democrat party operatives intimidating voters in Philadelphia, first publicized by the infamous “New Black Panther Party” video in 2008. As a result of that video, Democrats rewarded one of the intimidators with election to local Democrat Party office. More recently in 2016, Republican poll officials in Philadelphia were turned away and not allowed to vote or do their jobs because of intimidation.
Of course, critics will say Philadelphia votes overwhelmingly Democrat, so why are Republicans complaining? In April of this year in a special election, the Green and Republican Parties joined together to file a federal lawsuit contesting the outcome. Operatives of the Democrat machine in Philadelphia were escorting voters to voting machines, telling voters they could only vote for the Democrat write-in candidate, and not allowing voters to vote for the Green or Republican Party candidates on the ballot. This is the sort of intimidation that should be condemned by all parties, but it is not—because it benefits Democrats
Schumer next condemned “purg[ing] [voters] from the rolls through a national voter database of personal information.” The irony of Schumer’s statement is he was condemning not President Trump’s current Commission on Election Integrity, but rather President Obama’s very similar Commission on Election Administration. Obama’s commission made voter list maintenance, the more proper term for cleaning voter lists, not “voter purging” favored by radical liberals, one of its priority recommendations. By this logic President Obama is a supporter of the Charlottesville neo-Nazis in the eyes of Senator Schumer, too.
The reason Schumer says this is because he knows such “sloppy lists” benefit Democrats. In July in Florida, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Democrat Brenda Snipes admitted under oath that problems with sloppy lists and last minute voter registration drives have led to “non-citizens and felons [voting] despite not being eligible — especially right before major elections.”
In other words, Democrat efforts to keep messy voter rolls have resulted in vote fraud and eligible voters being disenfranchised in a key Democrat county in Florida—the ultimate swing state during modern Presidential elections. Yet, none of this is reported or mentioned by many on the left who purport to track voter fraud.
Schumer ended his rant by proposing bipartisan “hearings on the status of voting rights in America.” If Schumer were at all sincere and believed this, he would embrace President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, for this is exactly what it is doing. The commission is seeking public comments prior to its second meeting on September 12, 2017, which will be co-chaired by the nation’s longest serving Secretary of State, Democrat Bill Gardner. Gardner is not just co-chairing the meeting but hosting it in his native New Hampshire. Hard to get much more bipartisan, unless Schumer is concerned the second meeting is too Democrat.
Of course, Gardner is not a “real Democrat” to Schumer’s allies on the far left because he supports election integrity protections such as voter ID. Democrats overwhelmingly think photo ID should be required for voting, as it is for purchasing alcohol, travel, entering courthouses and other federal buildings, cashing checks, and more. Those on the left who see political advantage in not having voter ID protections call those who support such efforts “racist.”
The funny thing is a few years back when a neighboring state of Secretary Gardner, Rhode Island, passed a voter ID law, it did so in large part because of support for the law from the minority community. In the words of former 2016 Democrat candidate for President and then-Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee: “I spoke with representatives of our state’s minority communities, and I found their concerns about voter fraud and their support for this bill particularly compelling.”
Chafee is in the same boat as former Democrat President Jimmy Carter, as they both supported voter ID. President Carter chaired a national commission similar to President Trump’s that came out in support of voter ID.
Which gets us to the real reason why Schumer and his far-left allies oppose President Trump’s commission. Unlike the neo-Nazis, which all politicians agree are bad, Democrat politicians like Schumer realize that keeping election integrity protections out of the current voting system allows intimidation in liberal strongholds such as Philadelphia, opens the door to fraudulent votes in pivotal swing states as Florida, prevents tools to protect election outcomes such as voter list maintenance or voter ID, and benefits only establishment Democrats—and why give up that clear advantage?