For Immediate Release
January 4, 2018
Reform Jewish Movement Welcomes the Dissolution of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity
WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump’s announcement that he is dissolving the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of Reform Rabbis and the wider Reform Movement:
“We welcome the termination of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. As we warned when the Commission was established in May, it served to perpetuate the unfounded myth of widespread voter fraud. We are pleased that the Commission will no longer exist, and that its work toward the apparent goal of justifying voter suppression – largely among minorities, low income people, young people and the elderly – will cease.
"The fact remains that voter fraud is extremely rare in the United States. The integrity of the U.S. electoral process is threatened not by voter fraud, but by efforts to suppress the vote. Although the Commission has been disbanded, we are concerned by reports that the Department of Homeland Security will be tasked with continuing its work. We urge President Trump to focus governmental resources on protecting and expanding access to the ballot, not restricting it.
"Our democracy is strongest when all eligible voters can exercise their right to participate in our electoral process. Rabbi Yitzchak taught that "a ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted" (Babylonian Talmud, B'rachot 55a). We hope that the President will heed this message and work to strengthen, not weaken, the right to vote for all Americans."
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.