Democrat members support Trump election commission as Condos mocks in ongoing Twitter storm

By Michael Bielawski and Bruce Parker

President Donald Trump’s new election integrity commission had its first meeting last week, and the 12-member bipartisan group held five Democrats, including the secretaries of state of New Hampshire and Maine.

While Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, also a Democrat, wasn’t on the commission, he took to Twitter on Wednesday to offer his input about keeping elections secure. As he followed along via a livestreamed C-SPAN event, Condos unleashed a storm of tweets disparaging the members and their work:

The tweets weren’t exactly the “we’re working overtime to safeguard our elections” talk one might expect from a chief elections official. Condos also tweeted:

In contrast to the smart-alecky retorts coming from Condos, the two New England secretaries of state serving on the commission, New Hampshire’s Bill Gardner and Maine’s Matthew Dunlap, displayed straightforward professionalism and expressed an intent to work with colleagues to protect elections against fraud.

Yet Condos criticized his fellow Democrats, at one point taking a jab at Gardner:

Vermont’s secretary of state not only denigrated the members, including Ohio’s Ken Blackwell, the only African American on the panel — “Former SoS Blackwell accidentally exposed more than 6 Million voter SSNs. realDonaldTrump wonders what are we afraid of? Stuff like this” — but he also attacked methods other states use to keep elections honest.

On requiring voter identification, Condos said, “ID laws hinder access for eligible voters.” On cross-checking voter rolls between states to crack down on dual registrations, Condos tweeted, “The Vice Chair (Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach) promotes his own program creating tons of false matches, rejected by many states.”

The tweets didn’t end when the meeting ended. On Thursday, Condos tweeted out his hopes for the bipartisan commission:

On Friday, he wrote: “The very existence of the President’s voter fraud commission has already resulted in significant voter intimidation.”

While all opening statements from commission members displayed seriousness regarding the task, it was Gardner’s statements that contrasted most sharply with Condos.

“When states try to balance that ease of voting with measures to increase voter integrity, it is often met with hostile resistance and charges of suppression,” Gardner said. “I will respect the facts that this commission receives, but it has been my belief over many years of administering elections that we will see an increase in voter turnout only when ease of voting is balanced with security and integrity.”

Another point on which Gardner — the longest serving secretary of state in U.S. history — and Condos disagree relates to access and turnout. Gardner said loose rules on access don’t lead to more voter participation.

“Making voting easier by itself does not result in higher turnout,” he said, adding that fraud is a serious concern. “Polls just before the most recent presidential election found that more than half the country believes there’s voter fraud.”

Former Commissioner of the Federal Elections Commission Hans Von Spakovsky had strong words for those who criticized the work of the commission.

“The scurrilous charges made are reprehensible and a tactic, frankly, to avoid a substantive debate on important issues and to the prevent the research inquiring a study that is necessary to prevent problems in our election process to determine what the solutions are and to therefore ensure that we have the best election and best democratic system in the world,” he said.

Spakovsky cited a Heritage Foundation database that has documented 1,100 proven cases of voter fraud and nearly 1,000 convictions in court. It also documents the types of fraud.

“These cases run the gamut and show all the ways that voter fraud is committed in this country,” Spakovsky said. “It includes impersonation fraud at the polls, false voter registrations, duplicate voting, fraudulent absentee ballots, vote-buying, vote-buying by noncitizens, altering of vote counts, and ballot petition fraud.”

Trump also spoke at the meeting, emphasizing election integrity as a foundation for the United States as a free and democratic nation.

“Any form of illegal or fraudulent voting, whether by noncitizens or the deceased, and any form of voter suppression, or intimidation, must be stopped,” Trump said. “I’m pleased that more than 30 states have already agreed to share the information with the commission and the other states that information will be forthcoming.”

Trump gave some remarks which were specific to the remaining states which have not shared requested voter information, a message that could well be meant for Condos, who continues to hold out on handing over voter data which is already public information.

“If any state does not want to share this information, one has to wonder what they’re worried about. And I ask the vice president, I ask the commission, what are they worried about? There’s something, there always is,” Trump said.

Kris Kobach, vice-chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, said election fraud is no conspiracy.

“For a long time there’s been lingering doubt among many Americans about the integrity and fairness of elections, and it’s not a new issue at all,” he said. “If you look at the polling data, it goes back decades.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorth82X.

8 thoughts on “Democrat members support Trump election commission as Condos mocks in ongoing Twitter storm

  1. Voter fraud isn’t widespread, it’s narrowly targeted at paperless machines in contested elections, then hard wired by gerrymandering and suppression. There aren’t people being bussed from out of state or double voting. That’s too time consuming and unpredictable. The cheaters need to know exactly how many votes need to be flipped or discarded. In the last presidential election, it only required 78,000.
    What’s so frustrating is conducting fair, foolproof elections is not difficult. Start with our tax returns. Issue ballots, one per SS number to citizens who file, to the address on the return. Votes are cast at post offices in stand alone machines, tallied, and then recounted.
    As long as tiny states like Vermont have such disproportionate power in Congress, Americans should demand accuracy and conformity, while encouraging everyone to vote. No eccentricities, it isn’t quaint.

  2. In Rhode Island, 19% of the voter list were dead or had moved out of state. Just google.
    This likely is also the case in other New England states.
    What is to prevent someone getting an absentee ballot and vote one or more of the names?

  3. Numerous elections here in Vermont have been decided by one or two votes. What is wrong with making sure that all votes are cast legitimately? If there is nothing wrong, the facts will disclose that. If there are actual problems, we should fix them. What’s wrong with that, Jim?

  4. ONLY eligible voters in elections should be voting one time for one candidate per election. A country of 300 million people is bound to have some less-than-honest people. But, who cares? The United States doesn’t elect its president via the popular vote – it uses the Electoral College, which Trump won by a significant margin. Both candidates agreed going into the election that the winner would be whoever received over 270 votes in the Electoral College, not whoever received the most votes in the popular vote. The popular vote means nothing in terms of the actual election, nor does it actually matter who wins it.

  5. SOS Condos , surely would not want anyone to see the shenanigans within the VT
    voting process, just look at the democratic progressive make up in Montpelier !!

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