President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he will appoint three more people to his bipartisan Election Integrity Commission.
Trump authorized the commission in May to investigate whether there are any vulnerabilities in the U.S. voting process that “lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting.”
Trump appointed two Democrats and one Republican to the commission Wednesday.
One of the new appointees, Republican Luis Borunda, is the Maryland deputy secretary of state and the former chairman of the Maryland Hispanic Business Conference.
Meanwhile, David K. Dunn, is a former Democratic Arkansas legislator. He retired from public service at the end of 2010 and currently heads a government relations and public affairs firm.
Finally, Democrat Mark Rhodes has served as county clerk in Wood County, W.Va., since 2005.
The three new members will report to Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the commission.
The deputy chair of the commission, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, said last month that the it would leave no stone unturned in its investigation.
“So what we’ll be doing is for the first time in our country’s history, we’ll be gathering data from all 50 states and we’ll be using the federal government’s databases which can be very valuable,” Kobach told Fox News last month.
The commission has two years to present its findings, but Kobach thinks he can wrap things up in a year.
“We’re expecting to do so in a year, so next spring, maybe May but the commission stays in existence for up to two years. If for some reason we have to go later, we can. But our hope is one year,” he said.
Rhodes, the county clerk who believes he was recommended for a position on the commission by West Virginia’s Republican Secretary of State Mac Warner, brings years of experience administering elections on the ground.
While he has seen no evidence of voter fraud in his county of 56,000 registered voters, Rhodes said it’s worth the effort to investigate potential voter fraud to bolster people’s trust in the system.
“This is for election integrity and I believe in the integrity of the election and I think that every county clerk in West Virginia does,” Rhodes told ThinkProgress. “I guess I’d like to be on this team to review it and if there’s anything that I can do to help show that elections are honest, that’s my goal.”
Rhodes touted the fact that he has yet to receive claims of voter fraud in his four years as clerk.
“We try to keep our voter registration files current by checking death certificates, obituaries, everything of that nature,” he said. “We do what we can do to make sure the election is as up-and-up as possible.”
Rhodes said he hopes to help the commission apply West Virginia’s sound election practices across the country.
Dunn, the other Democrat appointee, said he was shocked to learn he was chosen for the role but plans to voice his concern about voters’ access to polls in the rural areas of the country.
“I don’t know why this has fallen on my shoulders,” Dunn told HuffPost. “I’m just a very small old country boy from Arkansas in this bigger commission with Vice President Pence, and I’m just going to do the best I can, to be honest.”
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