What was already expected to be a contentious second meeting for President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on Tuesday in Manchester, N.H., is likely to get a whole lot more contentious thanks to a column written by the panel’s co-chair. Although the chairman, Vice President Pence, said in that first meeting that the commission has “no preconceived notions or pre-ordained results,” the panel’s co-chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, seemed to contradict him in Breitbart News last week. Kobach claimed that “now there’s proof” of voter fraud in last year’s election, enough to have likely changed the outcome of a key Senate race. He cited a report that more than 5,000 New Hampshire voters used out-of-state drivers’ licences as identification and have yet to update those licenses, even though new residents are required to do so within 60 days of moving to the state. “It is highly likely that voting by nonresidents changed the result,” wrote Kobach, one of the few election officials in the country who hasn’t dismissed Trump’s unfounded claim that up to 5 million ballots were cast illegally last year. What Kobach didn’t say in the Breitbart column is that there are other possible explanations for all the out-of-state voter IDs. The most likely is that many were used by out-of-state college students, who are still eligible to vote.
“It’s wrong,” says Matthew Dunlap, Maine’s secretary of state and one of five Democrats on the 12-member presidential commission. “It oversimplifies the model to say that there’s a direct path to fraud through the driver’s license. There never has been.”
New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner told New Hampshire Public Radio last week that he has no reason to doubt last year’s election results, although he supports further investigation.
“I don’t have proof there’s widespread voter fraud, but that doesn’t mean that there might not be. It’s just that I don’t have proof. Well, how do you get to the proof? It’s by way of the facts,” said Gardner, also a Democrat.