Presidential voting commission member defends 'legitimate objective'

Presidential voting commission member defends 'legitimate objective'
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jul 06, 2017

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A member of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity defended the commission's "legitimate objective" Thursday morning.

"This is a commission with a legitimate objective and mission, and we're going to get it done and we're going to get it done working in a bipartisan fashion," said commission member Ken Blackwell on CNN's "New Day."



Blackwell, a Republican and former Ohio secretary of state, is one of 14 members tasked with investigating alleged voter fraud. The fifteenth, Maryland Deputy Secretary of State Luis E. Borunda, resigned Monday.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity which President Donald Trump created by executive order in May, sent a letter to all 50 states last week requesting a bevy of voter data, which he notes will eventually be made available to the public.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Kobach said 20 states will provide public information and another 16 are reviewing their options, while 14 states and DC have outright refused to comply.

According to a CNN inquiry to each state earlier this week, however, at least 45 states and DC said they would be unable to provide at least some of the information or outright refused to comply, including Kobach's own office, which can't provide all of the data under state law. A small number of states did respond positively, and some had yet to receive the letter or were still reviewing it.

"There are those who want to kill the commission in the crib. That's pure nonsense," Blackwell said of resistance to the commission's objectives. "There are organizations that understand that our voter rolls across the country are corrupt. And that corruption is a vulnerability and an opening to folks who might want to change the result of an election. What we have to work on is an articulation between the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and counting ballots -- who can be against that?"

Blackwell said a vote per precinct could be enough to tip election scales.

"We don't have to chase 5 million alleged corrupt voters. We, in fact, have to be concerned about one vote per precinct because that can change the course of history and the well-being of the United States of America," he said.

Blackwell also raised concerns about the possibility of foreign intervention in US elections: "I just heard you with your previous guest talk about a threat of manipulation of election systems at the state level by the Russians. I'm sure the Chinese, the Iranians, and others with technological capability will try to manipulate our system."

Blackwell's comments come as President Donald Trump faced questions about alleged meddling by Russia in the 2016 presidential election during his visit to Poland Thursday.

"I think it very well could be Russia but I think it could very well have been other countries," Trump said in a news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda. "I think a lot of people interfere."