Dunlap v. PACEI: Investigating the Voter Fraud Commission

American Oversight is representing Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap in his lawsuit against the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PACEI), on which he served as a member. On August 3, 2018, Secretary Dunlap released the first set of records he obtained from the commission, along with a preliminary report on his findings, determining that the commission had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Update: August 3, 2018 - Records Show No Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud

Secretary Dunlap released his preliminary report on the records produced by the PACEI. The records show that the commission found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, contradicting claims made by the White House.

Background:

In May 2017, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap was appointed to serve on a new commission created by President Trump to investigate allegations of voter fraud. Despite joining the commission in good faith, Dunlap was systematically excluded from participating in the group’s work and was denied access to basic information about meeting agendas, letters sent by the commission, and potential witnesses who would testify to the commission.

On November 9, 2017 Dunlap filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia – represented by American Oversight and the law firm of Patterson Belknap – to enforce his rights as a member of the PACEI. The lawsuit alleged that the commission, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, had violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) by denying Dunlap and other commissioners access to key documents and excluding them from much of the commission’s work.

On December 22, 2017 a federal judge largely agreed, ordering the commission to turn over documents and allow Dunlap to participate in commission activities.

Faced with the order, the commission ran an “option play” to avoid its consequences. Just weeks later, on January 3, 2018, President Trump dissolved the PACEI, and government lawyers have argued that the termination of the commission means that Dunlap no longer has a right to access the commission’s documents. In response, Dunlap filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the commission from destroying any records.

In the weeks after the commission was dissolved, Kobach, President Trump, and other administration officials have made claims about the nature of the commission’s “findings” and have claimed that the commission found evidence of numerous instances of voter fraud. Due to their ongoing efforts to block and exclude him, Dunlap has been unable to confirm or dispute these claims. But under the law, Dunlap has a right to review the materials used by the commission in reaching those conclusions, and he is continuing his fight to gain access to the commission’s records.

Updates

Court Orders Trump Administration to Turn Over More Voter-Fraud Commission Records

January 28, 2019
A federal court ordered the now-disbanded voter-fraud commission to turn over additional documents to Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap by the end of February.

Commission Records Show No Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud

August 3, 2018
Secretary Dunlap released his preliminary review of those records, revealing that the PACEI had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud, directly contrary to statements by the White House and PACEI Vice Chair Kris Kobach.

Court Orders Voter Fraud Commission to Release Records to Secretary Dunlap by July 18

June 27, 2018
A federal judge ruled in favor of Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap today and ordered President Trump's now-disbanded voter fraud commission to turn over documents to Dunlap by July 18, 2018. American Oversight represented Dunlap, who served on the commission, in his lawsuit seeking access to information about the commission's work.
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Related Documents

January 28, 2019

Order: Dunlap v. PACEI – Release of Additional Documents

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August 3, 2018

PACEI Records Released to Maine Secretary of State Dunlap

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June 27, 2018

Opinion: Dunlap v. PACEI

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February 21, 2018

Records From Texas SOS Communications Regarding Voter Data

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Records From Texas Secretary of State

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January 31, 2018

Motion for Leave to Issue Subpoena: Dunlap v. PACEI

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January 26, 2018

FOIA to Texas Regarding Collection of Voter Data

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January 26, 2018

FOIA to Texas Seeking Communications Related to Collection of Voter Data

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January 19, 2018

FOIA to Texas Secretary of State Regarding PACEI Voter Data Request 

FOIA Request
January 18, 2018

Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants Motion Against Preliminary Injunction

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January 18, 2018

Reply Brief in Support of Temporary Restraining Order

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January 17, 2018

DOJ Response Dunlap v PACEI Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Injunction

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January 9, 2018

Dunlap Motion For a Temporary Restraining Order

December 22, 2017

Opinion: Dunlap v. PACEI

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December 8, 2017

Dunlap v PACEI Reply Brief

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November 30, 2017

Transcript: Dunlap v. PACEI November 17, 2017 Conference

Litigation