Last week, Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) wrote a letter asking the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office to probe the commission’s funding, the information it was using to make conclusions and the steps it was taking to adhere to federal regulations and voter privacy requirements.
The GAO notified the senators on Wednesday that it had accepted their request to investigate the commission, formally called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, but also said it wouldn’t have staff with the skills required to begin engaging with the commission for another five months.
“The GAO’s decision to investigate is essential to protecting American voters,” Bennet said in a statement. “In its review, the GAO must ensure the Commission’s work isn’t using taxpayer money to support conspiracies long relegated to the fringes of political discourse.”
The commission is facing a slew of federal lawsuits over its attempt to collect voter information on Americans in all 50 states, as well as the amount of information it is disclosing to the public. Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican on the commission, said Wednesday that the commission’s work had stopped while those lawsuits were pending. Democrats on the commission have openly expressed frustration they have been kept in the dark about what the panel is working on.
A spokesman for the commission did not respond to a request for comment on the investigation.
Read the GAO’s full response below.
This story has been updated with a statement from Sen. Michael Bennet.