Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018
Contact: Kristen Muszynski, 207-626-8404

Secretary Dunlap responds to dissolution of Presidential Election Integrity Commission

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap received word Wednesday evening that the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PACEI), on which he serves as a member, is dissolved. President Donald Trump’s press secretary issued the notice of dissolution, citing the multiple lawsuits pending against the commission and a lack of cooperation from the States in providing voter data for its use.

“While the order from the President dissolving the commission came without warning, it’s not a surprise,” said Secretary Dunlap. “The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has not functioned according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act since its inception, and the ruling in my favor pursuant to the complaint I filed in the U.S. District Court has borne those shortcomings out.

“I am disappointed that we will not be able to answer the questions posed by the President about millions of illegal votes cast in the 2016 election. While I never believed we would find anything to substantiate those claims, I was excited by the opportunity to tell the world just how good Maine’s town and city clerks are, and how devoted election volunteers are, and how committed our citizens are to the principles of democratic self-governance.

“The lack of transparency brought nothing but suspicion onto the work of the commission, which bankrupted it of any chance at public legitimacy. While this chapter is now closed, I am committed to remaining vigilant on the front of election integrity and the transparent, free, and fair conduct of elections.

“I am greatly indebted to the voters of Maine for setting the standard in the conduct of elections, to my devoted coworkers in the Department of the Secretary of State, to the skilled attorneys at American Oversight and Patterson Belknap who represented our interests in Federal court, and to the Maine Legislature for entrusting me with this sacred charge. We now move on to the next chapter.”

Sec. Dunlap was chosen to serve on the commission in May 2017 and participated in the commission’s two public meetings, in July and September. In November, he filed a lawsuit to gain access to documents and correspondence regarding the commission’s work, as he had reason to believe he was being excluded from full participation. A federal judge ruled on Friday evening, Dec. 23, 2017, in his favor, stating that Sec. Dunlap cannot be excluded from participating in the work of the commission. Click here to view the ruling. To date, Sec. Dunlap has not received a response to his request for information.