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President Donald Trump pulls the plug on the voter fraud commission he created

The group was supposed to look into potential illegal voting – but it lasted less than a year.

What happened

President Donald Trump has eliminated the Commission on Election Integrity – a commission created by Trump himself in May of 2017 to investigate possible voter fraud in the 2016 election. 

Why?

The commission – which was chaired by VP Mike Pence – had requested voter info from all 50 states. It was a controversial ask, considering it wanted private information like who someone voted for, and the last four digits of their Social Security Number

Minnesota was among those that outright said no, and in total 44 states (plus D.C.) refused to hand over at least some of what was asked for, CNN reported.

Wednesday's decision to disband the Commission on Election Integrity pointed the finger at those states. The White House in a statement argued they "refused to provide the [commission] with basic information relevant to the inquiry."

The White House also said eliminating the commission now will prevent any "endless legal battles at taxpayer expense."

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, who is in charge of the state's elections, made his thoughts very clear after the commission was disbanded.

So why did the commission even exist?

Trump has been adamant that voter fraud is a big problem in the country. 

Soon after he was elected in 2016, Trump asserted that millions of people had cast ballots illegally – meaning he would have won the popular vote, not Hillary Clinton, if those weren't tallied.

So the president created the commission to investigate possible voter fraud and report back to him.

Well ... was there voter fraud?

There's zero evidence that points to widespread voter fraud in the U.S., despite White House statements indicating otherwise. And any evidence that does exist suggests it's nothing more than a minimal occurrence.

The Washington Post in an analysis found four clear documented cases of voter fraud in 2016, out of the 135 million ballots cast. The New York Times said election officials in every state had found zero evidence of widespread fraud – a few dozens ballots here or there were under review, but that's it. (Note: Kansas didn't respond to the Times' request.)

And a report from the Government Accountability Office in fall of 2014 said not once over the previous 10 years did a U.S. Attorney's Office or the Department of Justice's Criminal Division charge anyone with in-person voter impersonation, USA Today reported.

What happens with it now?

The White House in its statement said the Department of Homeland Security will look over the commission's initial findings and determine a next step.

Simon, a Democrat, had a suggestion.

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