The Trump administration's "election integrity" commission "is not set up to prove or to disprove" President Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud, and will "go where the facts lead us," Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach told CNN's "New Day" on Monday.
The choice of Kobach to help Vice President Mike Pence lead the panel has been criticized, because he has repeatedly supported Trump's claim, which was made without evidence, that millions of votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election.
Kobach said the commission's two goals are "for the first time have a nationwide fact-finding effort" on voter fraud and to then recommend to states based on the findings which system works the best.
He also emphasized that the panel will investigate "all forms of election irregularities, voter fraud, voter registration fraud, voter intimidation, suppression, and looking at the vulnerabilities of the various elections we have in each of the 50 states."
Kobach also stressed that the fairness of the commission will be assured, because the panel will be bipartisan and include Democrats who have been dismissive of Trump's claims.
When pressed to explain why such a study is worth the time and effort when previous surveys have shown that voter fraud is very minimal, Kobach insisted that it is very difficult "to extrapolate from [such] surveys to the entire country ... And as we all know, surveys have their flaws."
He also said that his experience investigating the issue in his own state of Kansas demonstrates that for every conviction on voter fraud there could be dozens of other similar cases that for various reasons don't go all the way through the court system and thus are not counted in the statistics.
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