Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a former member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity (PACEI) today released his initial assessment of thousands of the now-disbanded commission’s record determining that the group had uncovered no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud according to a press release issued by his office earlier today.
“Contrary to what we were promised, these documents show that there was, in fact, a pre-ordained outcome to this commission to demonstrate widespread voter fraud, without any evidence to back it up,” said Secretary Dunlap, who showed his findings today in a letter to former PACEI co-chairs Vice President Michael Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Secretary Dunlap’s initial report is based on a review of 1,800 PACEI records that were provided to him for the first time on July 18, following a federal court order. Because this conclusion directly contradicts claims made by both the White House and former PACEI co-chair Kobach, Secretary Dunlap has also released the documents on-line to enable the public to assess the facts for themselves. Although Secretary Dunlap has served as a member of the commission since its creation by President Trump in June 2017, he had been largely excluded from participating in the group’s activities, such as discussions related to meeting materials, witness invitations and goals or outreach.
In November 2017, after months of unsuccessfully requesting access to the information he needed to meaningfully participate in the PACEI’s investigations, Secretary Dunlap filed a lawsuit alleging that the commission and its co-chairs had violated the Federal Advisory Commission Act (FACA) by excluding him and other commissioners from its work.
On December 22, 2017, US District Judge Colleen Kollow-Kotelly issued an order in Secretary Dunlap’s favor, instructing the PACEI to provide him with the documents he needed to meaningfully participate in the commission’s work. Just weeks later, rather than comply with the court’s order, President T rump disbanded the commission and government lawyers sought to continue blocking Secretary Dunlap’s access to PACEI files.
In July 2018, the court issued another order, reaffirming the prior decision and demanding the government provide records by July 18, 2018. The government produced records on July 18 as ordered. Secretary Dunlap continues to litigate whether the production was complete. Today’s release reflects his analysis of the documents he received. While the PACEI files contained no evidence of widespread voter fraud, Secretary Dunlap’s review uncovered several troubling revelations. The files indicated that commission leaders considered issuing further large-scale voter data requests beyond Kobach’s initial June 2017 request for states to submit voter files to the PACEI for analysis – potentially even soliciting data from federal court clerks regarding individuals excused from jury service.
In a letter dated August 3, 2018, Secretary Dunlap wrote a letter to VP Pence and Secretary of State Kobach outlining his concerns from his findings from the documents he has seen so far. The letter may be viewed on the Secretary of State’s web page.