CNN commentator falsely states that Russian interference is “part of the president's voter integrity panel”
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On CNN's State of the Union, CNN commentator Alice Stewart claimed that "part of the president's voter integrity panel" is an investigation into Russian efforts to influence the election. In fact, after two members of the commission -- the secretaries of state of New Hampshire and Maine, both Democrats -- said they wanted to investigate the issue, the commission’s vice chairman, Kris Kobach, stated, “[I]f it’s something the commission wants to discuss, we can.” But Kobach also noted that “In the initial descriptions of the commission, election security and the integrity of equipment and voter databases was not specifically described,” and he did not commit to looking into Russian interference.
The commission has been criticized by experts as a solution in search of a problem (voter fraud is extremely rare) and has been seen as a possible excuse for voter suppression. Local media in Kobach’s home state of Kansas also called him out for his “baseless declarations about voter fraud” and argued that “Since the non-problem of in-person voter fraud … is inflated to push through laws that disenfranchise, this whole commission isn’t just unnecessary but wrong.”
From the July 16 edition of CNN's State of the Union:
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REP. ERIC SWALWELL: We have future elections coming up. We have the 2018 midterm and another presidential election, and I think Republicans and Democrats, I hope, see this as an opportunity to at least say we have a responsibility to secure the ballot box. We know the Russians will do this again. Other countries will see this as an opportunity.
BAKARI SELLERS: And they’ve done it in the past.
REP. SWALWELL: Yeah, they have done it in the past. But whatever [Robert] Mueller does, we should at least accept the facts that Russia attacked us and we have a responsibility to make sure it doesn't happen again.
ALICE STEWART: And that's also part of the president's voter integrity panel. While they're looking to clean up voter registration data across the country, part of that, they will be able to determine information about Russia's influence and impact on the election. And I think that's important, to your point. We need to make sure this doesn't happen again. And if I were advising the White House, which they wouldn't listen to me, get it all out there. Tell them everything about all of these meetings and let's let Mueller do aninvestigation, House and Senate, put it behind us, and let’s get to the issue at hand, which is the agenda, repealing and replacing Obamacare.