WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 29, 2023) – The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights today declared that its seats on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Board of Advisors are now vacant, effectively removing Cleta Mitchell, an election denier and former Trump lawyer, from that position. Her two-year term ended on November 3, 2023. The announcement followed a months-long advocacy campaign by Free Speech For People and Generation Vote.  In two letters to the USCCR, the groups argued that Mitchell’s repeated efforts to undermine voting rights and to promote the false claim of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, as well as her testimony before the congressional January 6th Committee in 2022 where she claimed that no one in the American public has a constitutional right to vote for President of the United States, were deeply incompatible with the purpose and mandate of both commissions.  A special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia unanimously recommended that Mitchell be indicted for her role in conspiring with Trump and others to overturn the 2020 presidential election. 

“The US Commission on Civil Rights and the US Election Assistance Commission must be vigilant in protecting the fundamental right to vote of all Americans and in protecting our elections,” said John Bonifaz, Co-Founder and President of Free Speech For People. “The election denier Cleta Mitchell had no place on the advisory board for the Election Assistance Commission and the US Commission on Civil Rights should never have appointed her to that position. Today’s announcement is a triumph for our democracy.”

“While on the Board, Cleta Mitchell has ridiculed young voters and recently called for efforts to curtail the youth vote after young people turned out in record numbers across the country. Time and again, Mitchell proved that she does not have the best interest of all American voters and should not be in a position to advise our nation’s only federal election administration commission,” said Brianna Cea, Executive Director and Founder of Generation Vote. “We are thrilled that election denier and youth vote suppressor, Cleta Mitchell, will no longer serve on the advisory board for the Election Assistance Commission and we encourage the Commission to appoint qualified candidates that can advise the EAC in its duty to protect the right to vote of all Americans and improve our elections for future generations.”  

During her appointment to the EAC Board, Mitchell continued to promote false claims of election fraud, to undermine a legitimate, bipartisan program to secure elections, and to advocate for policies that would limit voter access and turnout. While serving as a board member, she outlined a calculated strategy for limiting voting access for young voters, highlighting the need to curtail voting on college campuses and restrict same-day voter registration. 


Free Speech For People is a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to defend our democracy, uphold the Constitution, and guarantee every person has an equal voice and an equal vote. Founded on the day of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in January 2010, Free Speech For People, through its legal work and advocacy, fights to protect voting rights and election security, challenges big money dominance in elections, confronts government corruption, and seeks to ensure people can participate equally and meaningfully in our democracy. To learn more, please visit www.freespeechforpeople.org.

Generation Vote (GenVote) is a national electoral justice organization sparking an intersectional youth-led movement that fights for our right to vote and a just democracy for all. GenVote is dedicated to building people power for our generation through a national organizing home for youth voting rights organizers, shifting public opinion by making electoral justice issues a major priority for young voters, and fighting for youth voting rights through direct actions and campaigns. To learn more, please visit www.GenVote.org