Donald Trump to set up panel to investigate voter fraud

Donald Trump to set up panel to investigate voter fraud
Mike Pence speaking in Washington today.

US President Donald Trump is to sign an executive order launching a commission to review alleged voter fraud and voter suppression in the US election system, according to three White House officials.

One official says Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will lead the commission, which will look at allegations of improper voting and fraudulent voter registration in states and nationally.

Mr Trump has alleged, without evidence, that three to five million people voted illegally in his 2016 campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The official says the panel will include Republicans and Democrats and include current and former state election officials.

It will aim to ensure confidence in the integrity of federal elections while looking at vulnerabilities in the system and the possibility of improper voting and fraudulent voter registration and voting, the official added.

Potential panel members include former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, the official said.

During his campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly alleged that the election system was "rigged" and after his election argued that such massive, widespread fraud kept him from the popular vote.

Mr Trump won the presidency with an Electoral College victory despite losing to Mrs Clinton by nearly three million votes.

Voting experts and many lawmakers have said they have not seen anything to suggest that millions of people voted illegally, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz.

The Utah Republican said his committee will not be investigating voter fraud.

In a lunch meeting with senators in February, Mr Trump said that he and former Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte would have won in New Hampshire if not for voters bused in from out of state.

New Hampshire officials have said there was no evidence of major voter fraud in the state.

Mr Trump had previously identified Mr Pence as the person to oversee the long-awaited commission.

Mr Kobach advised Mr Trump's transition team and has been a leading GOP proponent of tighter voting regulations.

File photo of Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.
File photo of Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.

The secretary of state championed Kansas's proof-of-citizenship requirement as an anti-fraud measure that keeps non-citizens from voting, including immigrants living in the US illegally.

Critics contend it suppresses voter turnout, particularly among young and minority voters, and that there have been few cases of fraud.

AP

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