‘No real ev­i­dence’ of 2016 voter fraud

Com­mis­sion has been dis­banded

San Antonio Express-News (Sunday) - - Nation -

PORT­LAND, Maine — The now-dis­banded vot­ing in­tegrity com­mis­sion launched by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to in­ves­ti­gate the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion un­cov­ered no ev­i­dence to sup­port the pres­i­dent’s claims of wide­spread voter fraud, ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis of ad­min­is­tra­tion doc­u­ments.

In a let­ter to Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and Kansas Sec­re­tary of State Kris Kobach, who are both Repub­li­cans and led the com­mis­sion, Maine Sec­re­tary of State Matthew Dun­lap said the doc­u­ments show that there was a “pre-or­dained out­come” and that drafts of a com­mis­sion re­port in­cluded a sec­tion on ev­i­dence of voter fraud that was “glar­ingly empty.”

“It’s call­ing into the dark­ness, look­ing for voter fraud,” said Dun­lap, a Demo­crat. “There’s no real ev­i­dence of it any­where.”

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump con­vened the com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion af­ter mak­ing un­sub­stan­ti­ated claims that be­tween 3 mil­lion and 5 mil­lion bal­lots were il­le­gally cast.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion last month com­plied with a court or­der to turn over doc­u­ments from the vot­ing in­tegrity com­mis­sion to Dun­lap. The com­mis­sion met just twice and has not is­sued a re­port.

Dun­lap’s find­ings re­ceived im­me­di­ate push­back Fri­day from Kobach, who acted as vice chair of the com­mis­sion while Pence served as chair.

“For some peo­ple, no mat­ter how many cases of voter fraud you show them, there will never be enough for them to ad­mit that there’s a prob­lem,” Kobach said.

Kobach said that there have been more than 1,000 con­vic­tions for voter fraud since 2000 and that the com­mis­sion pre­sented 8,400 in­stances of dou­ble vot­ing in the 2016 elec­tion in 20 states.

“Had the com­mis­sion done the same anal­y­sis of all 50 states, the num­ber would have been ex­po­nen­tially higher,” Kobach said.

In re­sponse, Dun­lap said those fig­ures were never brought be­fore the com­mis­sion and that Kobach hasn’t pre­sented any ev­i­dence for his claims of dou­ble vot­ing. He said the com­mis­sion was pre­sented with a re­port claim­ing over 1,000 con­vic­tions for var­i­ous forms of voter mis­con­duct since 1948.

Dun­lap said he is un­sure whether the ad­min­is­tra­tion has re­leased all rel­e­vant doc­u­ments, and said the mat­ter is in lit­i­ga­tion. He said he was re­peat­edly re­buffed when he sought ac­cess to com­mis­sion records in­clud­ing meet­ing ma­te­ri­als, wit­ness in­vi­ta­tions and cor­re­spon­dence.

Maine Sec­re­tary of State Matthew Dun­lap: No ev­i­dence of wide­spread voter fraud in 2016.

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