Trump appointees stymie recommendations to boost minority voting: report

Members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights who were appointed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBarr criticizes DOJ in speech declaring all agency power ‘is invested in the attorney general’ Military leaders asked about using heat ray on protesters outside White House: report Powell warns failure to reach COVID-19 deal could ‘scar and damage’ economy MORE voted to shelve a report on threats to minority voting rights during the coronavirus pandemic, according to USA Today.

The report, which had been worked on for months, included a “behemoth” of recommendations and commissioners’ statements.

At an August meeting, one of the commissioners highlighted issues raised in the report, including difficulties with in-person and mail-in balloting faced by voters of color, people with disabilities, and those with medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus.

The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. The commission told USA Today that the report is not for public consumption.

“All Commission reports, as well as findings and recommendations, must pass by a majority vote,” the commission told USA Today. “That did not occur, so unfortunately we cannot share.”    

The report was compiled as mail-in voting has grown in popularity amid the pandemic. The president has claimed several times without evidence that increased mail-in voting leads to increased voter fraud.

Conservative attorney J. Christian Adams, who was appointed to the commission two weeks before the report was produced, told USA Today that the report “overlooked the disenfranchising effect of mail voting.”

Stephen Gilchrist, a South Carolina businessman appointed in May, told the newspaper the report was “somewhat suspect” coming so close to the election. 

Catherine Lhamon, a California civil rights lawyer who was appointed by President Obama in 2016, told USA Today that she is “deeply dismayed” with the commission’s decision to shelve the report.  

“I am deeply dismayed that after months of work on a topic that is core to the commission’s congressional charge — and has been now for six decades — for the commission not to speak to this moment, which is unlike any other in terms of an effort to vote in the history of this country,” Lhamon said.

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