After Vice President Pence announced that the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity would hold its first meeting on July 19and that all meetings of the commission will be open to the public, Commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach sent a letter to state election officials asking how the Commission can best help the states:
As the Commission begins it work, I invite you to contribute your views and recommendations throughout this process. In particular:
1. What changes, if any, to federal election laws would you recommend to enhance the integrity of federal elections?
2. How can the Commission support state and local election administrators with regard to information technology security and vulnerabilities?
3. What laws, policies, or other issues hinder your ability to ensure the integrity of elections you administer?
4. What evidence or information do you have regarding instances of voter fraud or registration fraud in your state?
5. What convictions for election-related crimes have occurred in your state since the November 2000 federal election?
6. What recommendations do you have for preventing voter intimidation or disenfranchisement?
7. What other issues do you believe the Commission should consider? . . .
On behalf of my fellow commissioners, I also want to acknowledge your important leadership role in administering the elections within your state and the importance of state-level authority in our federalist system. It is crucial for the Commission to consider your input as it collects data and identifies areas of opportunity to increase the integrity of our election systems.
This Commission, recognizing the unique role and power of the states in our federalist election system, has given the states the unprecedented opportunity to have input in the Commission's focus and goals. With the past two presidential election commissions, the chairmen determined the focus and goals. But the left has responded with its tired refrain of voter suppression and Democrat secretaries of state have already declared they are going to resist any requests from the commission to help make their voting systems better.
These questions are mostly non-controversial. They ask for information and opinions and are not partisan or political on their face. Question two even provides an opportunity for Democrat state officials to opine on the threat that Russian interference posed to last year's election, one of the left's current favorite narratives. For the questions that are controversial such as those on vote fraud, this provides an opportunity for election officials to make their case denying it is a problem.
Further, question seven gives an open-ended opportunity for an official who thinks elections are anything less than perfect.
This shows the political and disingenuous nature of those opposing the report, for they literally have the opportunity to influence what both what the Commission studies and the recommendations it makes. If Democrats aren't willing to provide their opinion on election issues when asked, they will have very little credibility to criticize the Commission's report when it is released.
Instead of engaging in a bipartisan, federal-state dialogue about how to make American elections better, they are sadly and reflexively resisting the Commission and missing the opportunity to have their voices heard to make elections more open, fair, and honest.