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voting matters

Trump's voter fraud commission has contentious meeting in New Hampshire

The second public meeting of President Trump's voter fraud commission, held Tuesday in New Hampshire, included protesters who called the commission a "sham" and a few rebukes of vice chairman and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who claimed in a Breitbart News column last week it was "highly likely" that voters in New Hampshire with out-of-state driver's licenses gave Democrat Maggie Hassan her recent Senate win.

Kobach's unsubstantiated claim was refuted by other members of the commission, including New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner (D), who said that Kobach's column questioned "whether our elections that we have recorded is real and valid. And it is real and valid." Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) described the column, which argued that Hassan's race was "stolen through voter fraud," as "reckless," adding that there is "no connection between motor vehicle law and election law. That would be almost as absurd as saying if you have cash in your pocket that you robbed a bank."

New Hampshire allows people who live in the state but do not have New Hampshire driver's licenses to vote, and experts have said there is no evidence of voter fraud in the race. Kobach said he struggled with "what verb to use" in his column because it's a "complex legal issue," NBC News reports, so he decided to say it "appears" there was possible fraud. The commission, which plans to report on its findings within the year, also discussed improving voter turnout and election security, and listened to experts and officials present on different voting issues.

The protesters who gathered outside said they were concerned that the commission, started by Trump after he made the unfounded claim that there were 3 to 5 million illegal votes cast in the 2016 presidential election, was really going to make it harder for people to vote. Jason Kander, the former Missouri secretary of state and leader of Let America Vote, called Trump's allegation "the biggest lie a sitting president has ever said. I call it the Voter Suppression Committee to Elect the President. This is not a policy difference. This is a political strategy."