LOS ANGELES (Jan. 27, 2017) — Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, is challenging the Trump administration on its anticipated executive order to investigate the baseless claim of widespread voter fraud.
The organizations believe the investigation is an attempt to move toward voter suppression tactics in future elections. Advancing Justice issued the following statement:
“The call for an investigation into understanding voter fraud is nothing more than a veiled attempt to declare open season on voting rights. Widespread voter fraud is not occurring, but the possibility that the Trump administration, including U.S. attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions — accused of inventing voter fraud charges to prosecute voting rights activists — could use the probe as a chance to further voter suppression is the real threat to democracy and future elections.
Advancing Justice has significant concerns that the desire to probe specifically in “urban areas” for the existence of voter fraud is code for finding ways to intimidate and suppress voting in communities of color, particularly among Asian American, African American, and Latino voters.
Asian American voters have often been discriminated against for being seen as ‘perpetual foreigners’ and have additional hurdles to reaching the ballot box, such as being asked for additional proof of citizenship or denied language assistance. Previous investigations, funded on the backs of taxpayers, and study after study have found no evidence of voter fraud; it is a waste of resources to go down this road again. There have been four cases of voter fraud confirmed so far out of 135 million votes cast in 2016.
If this drumbeat of unsubstantiated allegations continues, then any investigation must be done independently and in a bi-partisan manner with no ties to the Trump administration or current and future nominees. If an independent investigation moves forward, it should also determine the number of eligible voters kept from casting their rightful ballot because of voter ID laws, rollbacks on early voting, and other laws passed since the Shelby County v. Holder decision that makes it harder for people to vote.
Any investigation into issues related to voting should start with the full restoration of the Voting Rights Act and end with finding solutions to voter intimidation and suppression.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice – AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), and Advancing Justice – Chicago.