12 white men -- and no minorities -- to testify at Trump voter commission meeting
By Eric Bradner, CNN | 9/13/2017, 7:46 a.m.
(CNN) -- All 12 people scheduled to deliver presentations to President Donald Trump's voting commission at St. Anselm College here Tuesday are white men.
That's a problem, the panel's critics say, because the day's lineup appears designed to fuel many commission members' desire for restrictive voting laws -- including voter identification requirements, strict limitations on same-day voter registration and more.
And those laws, critics say, disproportionately suppress the vote of minorities, older people who no longer drive, college students, low-income people, those who are transient and more.
No women or minorities are scheduled to give presentations at Tuesday's meeting -- the second of Trump's election integrity commission, led by Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, a leading advocate of strict voting requirements.
"This is a sham commission that has one goal: to rig democracy in Republicans' favor by making it harder for African-Americans, Latinos, women and young people to exercise their fundamental right to vote," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez in a statement. "The Trump/Pence/Kobach commission does not represent the diversity of people across this country who deserve to have their voices heard at the ballot box."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 12-member commission includes one black man, former Ohio Republican secretary of state Ken Blackwell, and two women, Indiana Republican secretary of state Connie Lawson and Christy McCormick, a former Justice Department civil rights division attorney.
Critics of the voter commission questioned the credentials of those who are presenting Tuesday. Among them is the Crime Prevention Research Center's John Lott Jr., who will advocate for background checks for voters, and last wrote about fraud and elections in 2007.
"They somehow found a white man who is not an academic and who last wrote anything about elections a decade ago who is advocating for background checks before voting. But they couldn't find one of the dozens of female or minority experts who've studied and written extensively on elections over the past decade," said David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research and the former director of the elections program at The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Becker added, in a reference to Harri Hursti, the co-founder of Nordic Innovation Labs, who is set to deliver a presentation on the vulnerabilities of voting machines to hacking: "I also note that not only are there no minorities or women, they somehow did find space for a citizen of Finland."