Trump calls for strict voter ID laws, which critics say disenfranchise the poor and minorities

  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday gave up on his investigation into voter fraud, and he pivoted to pushing voter-identification legislation.
  • Civil rights activists say requiring voters to show identification disenfranchises minorities, the poor, and the elderly.
  • Trump never proved any of his claims about widespread voter fraud.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday morning about the end of his voter-fraud commission, blaming states for refusing to hand over voter data.

“Many mostly Democrat States refused to hand over data from the 2016 Election to the Commission On Voter Fraud,” Trump tweeted. “They fought hard that the Commission not see their records or methods because they know that many people are voting illegally. System is rigged, must go to Voter I.D.

“As Americans, you need identification, sometimes in a very strong and accurate form, for almost everything you do…..except when it comes to the most important thing, VOTING for the people that run your country. Push hard for Voter Identification!”

Trump on Wednesday ended his investigation into voter fraud, which he has repeatedly claimed without evidence is the reason Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election.

A statement from the White House on Wednesday maintained the view that voter fraud was a problem.

It said:

“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry.

“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”

Trump has never demonstrated that millions of people voted illegally, as he has often claimed (Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million). At the same time, many civil rights advocates denounce voter identification requirements as a large-scale driver of disenfranchisement because certain groups are less likely to have the proper identification.

The American Civil Liberties Union opposes voter ID requirements, saying they disproportionately affect “low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities.”

Though no evidence suggests that a significant number of US citizens illegally voted in 2016, voter registration is not without its quirks. While Trump was denouncing the suspected illegal voting during the early days of his presidency, it came out that several members of his family were registered to vote in two states, something he promised to investigate.

Other civic duties, like jury duty, do require identification from participants.

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