Former senior domestic policy advisor for the Trump transition team Ken Blackwell, who is expected to be appointed to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, praised the administration’s efforts to bring clarity to the national debate over voter fraud.
“It’s essential in our constitutional form of government that the final vote tallies reflect the will of the American people as expressed in their votes,” Blackwell told Breitbart News. “That means that every legal vote must be counted, and illegal or fraudulent votes must not dilute or cancel legal votes. President Trump’s executive order is a defense of democracy, which is something every American can support.”
“Vice President Pence is a champion of constitutional government, and the president’s selection of Vice President Pence to lead this commission shows his commitment to protecting the integrity of the ballot box,” he added.
The commission on election integrity will examine registration and voting processes in each state, and submit a report to the president detailing its findings on practices and laws which might undermine public confidence in elections and identify “vulnerabilities” that may allow illegal voting to take place.
Presenting data and recommendations to help states stop voter fraud is crucial for maintaining Americans’ confidence in elections, former Kansas Secretary of State and the commission’s vice-chairman Kris Kobach said.
“The federal government has a database of all known non-citizens residing in or visiting the United States… never before has that database been used to run [checks] against the databases of voter rolls in each state,” he told Breitbart News on Thursday. “There’s a broader principle — every time there is a fraudulent vote, it effectively cancels out a legitimately cast vote by the U.S. citizen.”
In a 2009 paper co-authored with Breitbart News senior legal editor Ken Klukowski and published with the Yale Law & Policy Review, Blackwell writes:
People often speak of the right to vote. But in actuality there are two voting rights. The first is the electoral franchise: the right to cast a ballot that is tabulated to determine the outcome of elections, a definitive aspect of democratic regimes. The second is a concomitant right for each voter not to have his legitimate vote diluted or cancelled by an illegal vote. In other words, voters have the right to measures that protect and safeguard the integrity of the electoral process and that assure only legitimate votes are counted.
Voting is not only a civil right but a civic duty, the paper explains, and laws securing the integrity of elections are sorely needed.
“One looks in vain for recent federal laws that focus on eliminating waste and fraud from the voting process or that stress the constitutional permissibility of imposing reasonable burdens on voters in fulfilling their civic duty to participate in democracy,” Blackwell and Klukowski write. “Laws strengthening the integrity of the ballot box must be pursued with equal vigor.”