The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Issues Statement on its Commitment to Safeguarding the Right to Vote
News| | By Jason Owen
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a statement reaffirming its longstanding commitment to safeguarding the right to vote. The statement can be viewed under “Highlights” at www.usccr.gov.
President Donald Trump has announced his intention to set up a commission to investigate alleged massive voter fraud during the 2016 election. Neither the President nor any credible source has offered evidence to support the claim of widespread fraud. Therefore, we believe a commission would be misleading and an unnecessary diversion of public resources.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is charged, by Congressional mandate, with investigating allegations relating to deprivations “as a result of any pattern or practice of fraud; of the right of citizens of the United States to vote and have votes counted.” On many occasions over our 60-year history, we have taken up this charge — when facts and circumstances warranted. At present, the real threat to our electoral system is suppression of the right to vote. Reputable reports and studies show that restrictive voting laws significantly decrease voter participation among racial and ethnic groups.
Removing barriers, improving registration, and expanding participation are key to ensuring that voters’ voices are heard. Last September, the Commission released a report on enhancing registration at public assistance centers. Several of our advisory committees are investigating voter suppression in their states.
In our 60th year, the Commission remains committed to enhancing voter access — a core right that lies at the foundation of our mandate.
Chair Catherine E. Lhamon reiterated this commitment: “The right to vote is fundamental to American democracy, and the Commission will continue to do all in its power to protect that right for all citizens.”
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with studying and advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing an annual federal civil rights enforcement report. For information about the Commission and our work, please visit http://www.usccr.gov and follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/usccrgov
SOURCE U.S. Commission on Civil Rights