Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday creating a “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.” In typical Trump fashion, he has literally picked the worst people possible for the commissioner jobs.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will co-chair the commission. Kobach, you may remember, is the guy who made up the false claim that millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. A lie that Trump still repeats.
The list of commissioners also includes Ohio’s best known mismanager of elections: Ken Blackwell.
Back in 2004 Blackwell served as Ohio Secretary of State, overseeing all aspects of the presidential election. He also served as co-chair of the “Committee to re-elect George W. Bush.” This obvious conflict was not without consequences. No fewer than sixteen lawsuits were filed against Blackwell for his involvement in disenfranchising Ohio voters that year.
George W. Bush won the state by a narrow 118,000 votes in an election marred by widespread electoral dysfunction. “The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters,” found a post-election report by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. According to one survey, 174,000 Ohioans, 3 percent of the electorate, left their polling place without voting because of massive lines in urban precincts and on college campuses. Ohio’s Secretary of State that year was Ken Blackwell, co-chairman of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (via Fox News) summed this whole situation up nicely: “Putting an extremist like Mr. Kobach at the helm of this commission is akin to putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department.”
With Blackwell at his side, Kobach and this new commission have the potential to put a match to any progress that’s been made on voting rights in Ohio and beyond.
We’ll leave you with this video of Ken Blackwell and Herman Cain trying to convince voters in Florida’s 2012 presidential election that they should be happy about illegally being removed from the voter rolls because, you know, a bunch of 1960’s Black Panthers or something.