“This is a pretty partisan commission,” said Ohio State University election law professor Daniel Tokaji. “I guess there are a couple of people at least with Democratic affiliations. They’re certainly not prominent people in this elections sphere, nor, to this point, have they been particularly vocal in raising the other side of this debate.”
But that seems to be changing. After more than five hours, the meeting ended almost as awkwardly as it began, with Kobach giving careful answers to a barrage of questions. It’s unclear what, if anything, was accomplished, other than to remind everyone that there are Democrats on the panel who disagree with some of the basic tenets of its apparent mission. Though they’ve taken heat from progressives for participating, and thereby giving the panel a veneer of bipartisan credibility, the commission’s Democratic members are beginning to see themselves as a check against what they view as baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.
“I know we are outnumbered,” said Democrat David Dunn, a commission member and former Arkansas legislator who has been urged by acquaintances to step down but has so far refused. “Why would you resign?” he said. “Why would you turn it over to the exact people that you’re afraid of doing something that would harm your access to the polls?”