President Donald Trump’s commission to investigate possible election fraud will convene this month, a government notice said on Friday, as more U.S. states have refused to hand over at least some voter data.
Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in May, after claiming without evidence that millions of people voted illegally for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 election.
U.S. civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers have called the panel a voter suppression tactic by Trump, a Republican who won the presidential election by securing a majority in the Electoral College tally of delegates even as he lost the popular vote to Clinton by some 3 million votes.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a watchdog group, has filed a lawsuit to block the commission’s data request until its privacy impact can be weighed. A hearing in the case was scheduled for Friday afternoon.
There is a wide consensus among state officials from both parties and election experts that voter fraud is rare. States rejecting the commission’s attempts to gather voter information have called it unnecessary and a violation of privacy.