Augusta - The American Civil Liberties Union today sent coordinated Freedom of Information Act requests to officials in Kansas, Indiana, New Hampshire, Maine and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission seeking information related to the Trump administration’s new “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.”
Though President Trump announced plans to form the commission months ago, he signed the executive order just last week. The commission is headed up by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, whom the ACLU has successfully sued numerous times over his voter suppression policies. The FOIA requests target commission members who currently serve as secretaries of state — Kobach of Kansas, Connie Lawson of Indiana, Bill Gardner of New Hampshire, and Matthew Dunlap of Maine — as well as Christy McCormick, commissioner of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
“We believe the outcome of the commission’s investigation is preordained,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “It’s time to shed light on whether any commission members were crafting policy recommendations before their investigation was launched or the commission was even formally announced. If they’ve got evidence, it’s time to stop hiding and start sharing.
Unlike some commission members, Maine’s Secretary Dunlap has been publicly skeptical about claims of widespread voter fraud in Maine and nationwide. Last week he told the media that if the commission makes unsubstantiated claims or recommends policy changes that would make it harder for people to vote, he will look for ways to refute them.
“We will be following the commission’s work closely, and expect Secretary Dunlap to continue his record of championing voting rights,” said ACLU of Maine legal director Zachary Heiden.
The ACLU previously filed a FOIA request seeking information that the Trump administration is using as the basis for its widely debunked claims of voter fraud.
The request to Secretary Dunlap can be found here.