Civil and Human Rights Coalition: Trump-Pence-Kobach Voter Suppression Efforts are Underway

WASHINGTON—Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement following the issuance of two letters by the Trump administration that indicate it is laying the groundwork for mass voter purges. In a letter sent by the Department of Justice to states covered by the National Voter Registration Act, the government is requesting information on voter registration list maintenance procedures.  In another letter sent by Kris Kobach, who along with Vice President Mike Pence co-chairs President Trump’s efforts to investigate so-called election fraud, the government is requesting all publicly available data from each state’s voter rolls:

“These two letters, sent on the same day, are highly suspect, and seem to confirm that the Trump administration is laying the groundwork to suppress the right to vote.

It is not normal for the Department of Justice to ask for voting data from all states covered by the National Voter Registration Act.  It’s likely that this is instead the beginning of an effort to force unwarranted voter purges.  The fact that the Justice Department letter coincides with the Kobach letter should cause voters serious concern. Kris Kobach is a man with an agenda and a history of discriminatory and regressive views on voting rights. We are particularly concerned that these calls for information may be used to wrongly remove eligible Black and Hispanic voters from the rolls through the problematic process known as Crosscheck.

The integrity of our elections is indeed under assault – just not in the way that Donald Trump claims.  Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars with a new effort led by two Republicans to promote President Trump’s highly questionable and thoroughly discredited voting agenda, the American people deserve to know how Russia interfered with our last election and how we can fix the serious obstacles eligible voters face to fully participate in our democracy.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit