After President Donald Trump abruptly disbanded his controversial voter fraud commission on January 3, announcing on Twitter that "many mostly Democrat States refused to hand over data from the 2016 Election," he continued to insist that the nation's voting systems are rigged, a charge he first leveled against Colorado during the April 2016 Republican assembly.
"[The Democratic states] fought hard that the Commission not see their records or methods because they know that many people are voting illegally," tweeted the president, repeating an unsubstantiated claim he began using after his election.
But governing bodies across the country continue to insist on the opposite.
"Secretary Wayne Williams has never believed that the system is rigged," says Lynn Bartels, spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office. "In fact, Colorado just performed the nation's first-ever statewide risk-limiting audit to ensure the accuracy of the election."
Established last May, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was tasked with reviewing claims of voter fraud after Trump claimed that millions of undocumented residents had voted in the 2016 presidential election. States were supposed to turn over voters' personal information — which is publicly available in some states, including Colorado — but many refused.
Trump finished his tweet on January 3 with a call for voter identification and wrote a whole new tweet expanding on his suggestion: "As Americans, you need identification, sometimes in a very strong and accurate form, for almost everything you do.....except when it comes to the most important thing, VOTING for the people that run your country. Push hard for Voter Identification!"
Opponents of voter identification argue that it's a voter-suppression tactic intended to keep marginalized citizens who might not have easy access to IDs from the ballot box.
Bartels says Williams supports voter IDs but admits they probably won't be required in Colorado anytime soon; such a requirement would need the approval of the state legislature, and the Democratic-controlled Colorado House is unlikely to give the okay.
"It's not like this is one of the bills that our office is supporting in the legislative session that opens next week," Bartels adds.
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