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Husted Happy Trump Is Abandoning Election Fraud Commission

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Jay LaPrete
/
Associated Press
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order disbanding the commission he created to investigate what he claimed were millions of fraudulent votes in the 2016 election. Ohio’s chief elections officer wasn’t a fan of the Election Integrity Commission to begin with.

Secretary of State Jon Husted has said voter fraud does exist in Ohio, but it’s rare. Husted said his office already does post-election investigations into claims of fraud and suppression, so in Ohio, a federal probe into fraud wasn’t necessary.

“If the president seems fine with that now, then all the better for all of us,” he said.

Husted says there was no need for the Election Integrity Commission in Ohio, though "I can’t speak for the 49 other states."

Trump repeatedly claimed, without any evidence, widespread voter fraud in the election led to Hillary Clinton's win of the popular vote. His commission, established last May and chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, was the target of multiple lawsuits. Democrats and voting rights activists charged the commission was intended to further restrict ballot access for minorities and poor people.

A White House statement blames many states for refusing to provide information to the commission, and The Dispatch reports Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State who served on the panel, blamed "a wall of resistance" from Democratic officials. 

Husted sent a link of the publicly available Ohio database of voter information to the White House, but did not turn over data that isn’t public record in this state.