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October 26, 2017

GAO to Investigate Presidential Voter Commission

In Response to a Bennet-Klobuchar-Booker Letter, Government Accountability Office Accepts Request to Investigate

Washington, D.C. - In response to a letter from U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed it will investigate the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Last week, the senators wrote to the GAO urging its investigation of the Commission's motives and the influence of its work. On October 25, the GAO accepted the request "as work that is within the scope of its authority." The GAO anticipates the review will begin in about five months.

Since President Trump established the Commission by executive order in May 2017, states across the country have expressed concern that the Commission is having the effect of suppressing voter participation. For instance, over 5,000 Coloradans withdrew their voter registrations in response to the Commission's request for information. Since then, the Chairman of the Commission has made unsubstantiated claims about voting in the 2016 elections. Just last week, two Democrats on the bipartisan Commission sent letters to its executive director expressing concern over its lack of transparency.

A copy of the letter is available below and HERE.

October 25, 2017

The Honorable Michael F. Bennet
United States Senate

Dear Senator Bennet:
Thank you for your letter of October 18, 2017, jointly signed by Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and Senator Cory A. Booker, requesting that the Government Accountability Office review the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

GAO accepts your request as work that is within the scope of its authority. At the current time we anticipate that staff with the required skills will be available to initiate an engagement in about five months. Your request has been assigned to Mr. George Scott, Managing Director, Homeland Security and Justice. Closer to the time GAO can start this engagement, Mr. Scott or a member of his team will contact Mr. Brian Appel to confirm that this request continues to be your priority for us. As applicable we will also be in contact with the cognizant Inspector General's office to ensure that we are not duplicating efforts. If an issue arises during this coordination, we will consult with you regarding its resolution.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Scott at 202-512-5932 or scottg@gao.gov, or Mr. Patrick diBattista, Assistant Director, Congressional Relations, on my staff at 202-512-6576 or dibattistap@gao.gov.

Sincerely yours,
Katherine Siggerud
Managing Director
Congressional Relations

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