WASHINGTON (USA Today) – Just one day after he disbanded his controversial commission investigating allegations of voter fraud, President Trump called for new voter identification laws – and again claimed many people are casting ballots illegally.
"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," Trump tweeted. "Push hard for Voter Identification!"
Trump also took aim at "many mostly Democrat states" that refused to hand over data to the commission created last May. "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.," he said.
Trump signed an executive order late Wednesday disbanding the election integrity commission, saying he didn't want to waste taxpayer money fighting with state governments over their voter data. Trump created the commission after claiming that at least 3 million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election — enough to make up for Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote.
Yet state and local officials said they refused to cooperate with the commission because of privacy concerns as well as the fact there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Democrats said they feared commissioners would seek ways to make voting harder, especially for African-Americans, Hispanics, and poor people.
The panel co-chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, on Wednesday said an investigation into alleged voter fraud would continue, and Trump announced the commission's work will now go to the Department of Homeland Security.
A number of Republican-run state legislatures have passed new voter identification laws of the kind backed by Trump. They have been challenged in courts as discriminatory towards minorities and poor people.
Trump's “'Election Integrity' commission was built to encourage and enable voter suppression," tweeted Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal., top Democrat in the House. "Every American who cares about the right to vote should breathe a sigh of relief now that it no longer exists."