At a Wednesday press conference, Maine’s secretary of state said an investigation turned up no cases of voter fraud from a list of out-of-state students created by the chairman of the Maine Republican Party. A July list presented to the Maine Office of the Secretary of State by Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster gave the names of 206 students at four state university campuses — including some from the University of Maine — he said were registered to vote in Maine and out of state.
But Wednesday, Secretary of State Charlie Summers said most of the students on Webster’s list were, contrary to the chairman’s claim, registered to vote only in one state: Maine. And none of them voted in the same election twice. “I’m not surprised he didn’t find students voting twice, because I didn’t find any of those,” Webster said after the conference, saying he merely pointed out possibilities.
“What Charlie Summers’ press conference really showed today is that Charlie Webster was on a witch hunt,” said Rep. Emily Cain, D-Orono, the House minority leader. “Students of Maine were vindicated today.”
Summers said two names on the list were duplicates and 77 were identified by Webster as only being registered in Maine, leaving 127 names on the list to be investigated. One case could not be fully investigated because of one state’s failure to respond to inquiries, Summers said.
Of those 127 students, 44 were found to be registered only in Maine. Summers said 77 students were actively registered in Maine and their home state. He said this is only a violation of the law if registrants “intentionally” fail to disclose their previous address.
“It is impossible to determine if any of these students intentionally failed to disclose this information,” Summers said.
He said five students investigated were found to have voted in two different states in the same year, but in different elections, which does not violate law.