WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump spoke briefly at Wednesday’s first meeting of the bipartisan Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity where he emphasized the importance of “upholding the integrity of the ballot box and the principle of one person, one vote.”
Vice President Mike Pence, the Chair of the Commission, spoke just before Trump in the meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. He stated that the President knows that election integrity “transcends party lines.”
Pence quoted former President Calvin Coolidge, “the whole system of American government rests on the ballot box.” He then quoted former President Ronald Reagan, “the right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties.”
Pence vowed that the commission would provide a “non-partisan service to the American people.”
The Vice President added that the President knows, “The principle of one person, one vote is foundational to the American system of democracy.” Pence said the commission will study the registration and voting processes used in elections. He said this will enhance American confidence in the election system. The commission will look at the vulnerabilities related to voting.
“We will gather relevant facts and data and will provide findings,” said Pence. The commission has already started work requesting publicly available data. He said that more than 30 states have already indicated that they will comply, pursuant to the laws of those states. The commission includes five former and current secretaries of state, Pence pointed out.
“We want to hear the voice of the American voter,” said Pence as he invited the American people to offer comments to the commission.
President Trump then took the podium to address the first meeting of the commission.
Trump declared the importance of, “upholding the integrity of the ballot box and the principle of one citizen, one vote.” Any fraudulent voting, by non-citizens or the deceased, or voter suppression or intimidation must be stopped, said Trump.
“If any state does not want to share this information, one must wonder what they are worried about?” said Trump of public voter information requested of states.
Trump said the issue is important to him because of the voters he met along the campaign trail and afterward, that expressed concerns about inconsistent and improper voting. “We have to protect the integrity of the vote and the voters,” said Trump.
“This is not a Democrat or a Republican issue, its an American issue. It’s about the concern of so many Americans that improper voting is taking place and canceling out the votes of lawful American citizens,” said Trump.
The President then quoted former President Theodore Roosevelt, “It is the affair of every honest voter, wherever born, to see that no fraudulent voting is allowed.”
He thanked Pence for chairing the commission and Kris Kobach for serving as Vice Chair.
“This is a bipartisan panel consisting of both republican and democratic leaders and experts on voter integrity,” said Trump. He noted commission members present: Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlop, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Election Assistance Commissioner Christy McCormick, former Arkansas State Representative David Dunn, Wood County, West Virginia Clerk Mark Rhodes, Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow and Manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative, Hans von Spakovsky, President and General Counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation J. Christian Adams, and Jefferson County, Alabama Probate Judge Alan King.
Trump said this commission is entrusted with “helping to advance the cause of fair, honest and lawful elections.”
“This will be a very transparent process,” said Trump. He said members would “fairly and objectively follow the facts wherever they may lead.”
A report will be issued after the commission has conducted its work. Trump said that he looks forward to that report and its findings.
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