Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat who served on President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission, published a trove of documents Friday that he said show zero signs of mass voter fraud, declaring that the White House’s claims about wide-scale fraud are "false."
"I have reviewed the documents made available to me and they do not contain evidence of widespread voter fraud," Dunlap wrote in a letter that took aim at Trump’s repeated — and baseless — claims that millions of people voted illegally.
Dunlap had sued the government to obtain the records he published Friday, which he said the administration had been hiding.
The commission’s co-chairs, Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, had claimed that widespread fraudulent voting required stringent new regulations, which critics said would block people of color who are legally registered to vote and who tend to lean Democratic, from accessing the polls.
The documents were all posted online "so Americans can conclude for themselves that evidence to support the statements of Vice Chair Kobach and the White House regarding the preliminary findings do not exist," Dunlap wrote.
He added that draft commission report on voter fraud was "surprisingly empty" of evidence and the fact "the commission predicted it would find widespread evidence of fraud actually reveals troubling bias."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Dunlap’s letter.
Trump claimed he lost the popular vote in 2016 because 3 to 5 million fake votes were cast for Hillary Clinton. Notions of widespread cheating are a myth, according to state election officials and experts across the country, but shortly after taking office, Trump formed the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to weed out illegal voters.
One of a handful of Democrats on the commission, Dunlap complained he was being shut out of deliberations and denied access to documents. He sued the commission in November 2017 to obtain records, but Trump unexpectedly shut down the commission in January — in an apparent effort to block the disclosure.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time that there was "substantial evidence of voter fraud," but the commission would be shuttered because many states have refused to provide information and to avoid "endless legal battles at taxpayer expense."
Dunlap, however, continued his legal efforts, and in July, a federal judge said he was entitled to the documents.
"Now," Dunlap’s letter said Friday, "after months of litigation that should not have been necessary, I can report that the statements by Vice Chair Koback and the White House were, in fact, false."
The commision also planned to ask "all federal court clerks to turn over lists of individuals deemed ineligible or excused from federal jury service due to death, relocation, convictions, or lack of citizenship," he added, saying the "cavalier attitude towards vacuuming up data is troubling."
According to the records, Dunlap said, some commissioners further planned to use the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program to identify duplicate voter registrations — an idea that has been criticized in the past for potentially removing legally registered voters from the rolls.
Dunlap conceded that "infrequent" cases of improper or fraudulent voting do occur, but he added, "the instances of which I am aware do not provide any basis to extrapolate widespread or systemic problems."
"The plural of anecdote is not data."