Washington, D.C. — As President Donald Trump’s so-called voter fraud commission convenes in Washington, D.C., the Center for American Progress’ Michele Jawando and Igor Volsky sit down with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who is leading the charge against the commission’s request for sensitive voter data from millions of Americans. In a wide-ranging interview on CAP’s “Thinking CAP” podcast, Padilla says that the president’s focus should be on Russian interference in the 2016 election, rather than a baseless witch hunt that is already stoking fear among some voters.
“Every day that goes by that the Russian interference in our elections is unresponded to, is one day less we have to prepare for the 2018 election, 2020 elections, and beyond. Stop investigating American citizens, and start investigating the Russians,” Padilla says. Padilla added that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the co-chair of the president’s commission, has a long track record of supporting stricter voting laws and is the least qualified person to lead such a commission.
“I think it’s been time for Kobach to go back to Kansas,” Padilla says on the podcast. “Not just because the way he’s clearly using this commission, and the issues, and frankly using the White House to advance his own career … there’s no impartiality, there’s no open-mindedness on the issues. If you look at the policies he’s known for, the policies he’s advanced, it’s not one that’s friendly to the voting rights agenda.”
In discussion with Volsky and Jawando, the California secretary of state also outlines the issues he has with the commission and California’s refusal to cooperate. In contrast, California is moving toward policies across the state to make voter registration and access more available to all eligible voters, implementing vote-by-mail practices for no-excuse absentee voting, and keeping polling locations open for weeks ahead of voting day.
Today’s episode of “Thinking CAP” is the 14th episode in a new podcast series from the Center for American Progress launched in May 2017. “Thinking CAP” is a weekly podcast about the ideas, issues, and solutions that lead us to march, chant, and raise our voices to participate in our democracy.
The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Google Play, and CAP’s website.
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