The White House announced Thursday that Hans von Spakovsky (pictured), a leading figure in the campaign to raise concern about illegal voting and build support for voting restrictions, has been named to its voting commission.
“This appointment is a big middle finger from the President to those who are serious about fixing problems with our elections,” Rick Hasen, an election law scholar at the University of California, Irvine, wrote online.
A 2012 New Yorker profile called von Spakovsky, a scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation, “the man who has stoked fear about impostors at the polls.”
As a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration Justice Department, von Spakovsky played a key role in the failed effort to bring voter fraud cases, which led to the controversial firing of several US attorneys when they declined to do so. President Bush then nominated von Spakovsky to serve on the Federal Election Commission, but Democrats blocked his nomination.
During the Obama administration, von Spakovsky worked with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive conservative lobby group, to advance voter ID legislation for states to adopt.
The appointment was announced a day after the commission sparked widespread concern by sending letters to all 50 states asking for voting data.