Meet the Members of Trump's "Voter Fraud" Commission

Many members of the Commission have controversial records or a long history of supporting voter suppression efforts.

July 18, 2017

The Commission is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. It’s vice chair, and moving force, is Kris Kobach, the Republican Secretary of State of Kansas, who is also now running for Kansas governor. Along with Kobach, three other commissioners have extensive backgrounds in voter suppression — Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, and former Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell The other members include three secretaries of state, one Election Assistance Commissioner, and one former state representative. Overall, the Commission has seven Republicans and five Democrats. Three of the Democrats — Alan Lamar King, David K. Dunn, and Mark Rhodes — were recommended to the Commission by their respective states’ Republican chief election officials.

Despite the fact that five Democrats currently serve as commissioners, the Commission is in no way bipartisan. A bipartisan panel would be led by members of both parties, have an equal partisan split among commissioners, and capture a broad range of viewpoints. This Commission, in contrast, is led by two staunch Republicans, has a Republican majority, and counts some of the nation’s leading promoters of voting restrictions among its ranks.

This partisan bent breaks with precedent set by previous election panels. The 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration was co-chaired by Robert Bauer and Benjamin Ginsberg, respectively the election lawyers for Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaigns. A 2005 panel organized by American University was co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III, a Republican. And former Presidents Ford and Carter were the honorary co-chairs of the 2001 National Commission on Federal Election Reform organized by the University of Virginia.

The staff of prior commissions also included academics from major research universities to direct fact-finding efforts. President Trump’s Commission lacks the scientific expertise of these past panels, further enabling partisanship and bias to dictate its conclusions. 

The commissioners are listed below. You can click on their names to read additional details about their professional backgrounds and records on voting rights:

Vice President Mike Pence (Chair)

  • Despite efforts to maintain his distance, was part of a campaign that repeatedly claimed millions voted illegally.
  • Came under criticism for large-scale voter fraud investigation in Indiana targeting a voter mobilization group (charges have since been brought).

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (Vice Chair)

  • Driving force behind a Kansas law that included both a strict photo ID requirement to vote and proof of citizenship to register — which has blocked thousands of eligible citizens from the polls.
  • Has repeatedly made extravagant claims of in-person voter fraud or noncitizen voting with little or no evidence.
  • Threatened with contempt last September by a federal judge for not complying fully with a court order requiring certain voters to be considered registered.
  • Sanctioned by a court this year for making “patently misleading representations” about the contents of a document he was photographed holding after a meeting with President Trump.
  • Even though he admitted he had no tangible evidence to support his claim, Kobach backed Trump’s tweet that there were “millions” of illegal votes in 2016. “I think the president-elect is absolutely correct when he says the number of illegal votes cast exceeds the popular vote margin between him and Hillary Clinton at this point,” Kobach said three days after Trump’s tweet.

Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow, Heritage Foundation

  • Considered the intellectual godfather of the conservative anti-voting movement, he pioneered many of the legal and intellectual arguments followed by Kobach and other voter suppressors.
  • Held a senior role in the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division during the mid-2000s, when he shaped the Division's pursuit of dubious voter fraud investigations-- a pursuit that eventually led to the improper firing of several U.S. Attorneys, government investigations, fourteen congressional hearings, and the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
  • Was criticized for reviewing state photo ID requirements while working in the Justice Department while simultaneously advocating for them while writing under a pseudonym.
  • Was nominated by President George W. Bush to the Federal Election Commission in 2005, sat on the Commission by recess appointment from 2006 to May 2008, when his nomination was formally withdrawn after staunch opposition by Senate Democrats.

J. Christian Adams, President and General Counsel, Public Interest Legal Foundation 

  • President and general counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative group that has brought numerous demanding election officials aggressively purge voter rolls.
  • Attorney in the Justice Department’s Voting section from 2005 to 2010; resigned and alleged that DOJ was hostile to bringing voting rights cases on behalf of white plaintiffs against nonwhite defendants.
  • Actively promotes allegations of widespread non-citizen voting.

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell

  • Oversaw a 2004 Ohio election that had so many problems, the New York Times called it an “example for every ailment in the United States’ electoral process.”
  • Ran the 2004 election Ohio while also serving as state co-chair for President Bush's re-election campaign.
  • Violated federal law by limiting access to provisional ballots.
  • Directed his office to accept voter registration forms only if submitted on a particular thickness of card stock, leading to the rejection of numerous registration applications.
  • His office improperly posted voters’ full social security numbers online, and then took months to remove them. 

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson

  • As a state senator in 2005, co-sponsored and passed the nation’s first strict photo ID law.
  • A Republican, Lawson is a former Majority Floor Leader in the Indiana Senate. She was selected as Secretary of State in 2012, and won the office outright in 2014. She is up for re-election in 2018. Lawson is also the president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Commissioner Christy McCormick

  • Attempted to hamper a lawsuit challenging the EAC’s decision to allow three states to require documentary proof of citizenship from individuals registering to vote with a federal voter registration form. She also broke with her fellow commissioners to aid Kris Kobach in the same suit.

New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner

  • Has supported legislation that could suppress votes, including a controversial state senate bill that, as originally written, could have prohibited many college students from registering.
  • Expressed skepticism multiple times about the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as “Motor Voter” a law credited with making voter registration more accessible. 
  • Voted in favor of a National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) resolution opposing the continued authorization and funding of the EAC.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap

  • A Democrat, Dunlap has done two stints as Maine’s Secretary of State, who is elected biennially by the state legislature. Dunlap was in office from 2005 to 2011, and then was ousted for one term when Republicans controlled the legislature. He was re-elected when Democrats resumed control after the 2012 elections, and was selected again in 2014.
  • Has criticized accusations of widespread voter fraud and opposed voter ID legislation.
  • Prior President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS); voted in favor of a NASS resolution opposing the continued authorization and funding of the EAC.

Former Arkansas State Representative David K. Dunn (Deceased)

  • Served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 2004-10.
  • Sponsored legislation that would have required Arkansas’s presidential electors to vote for the winner of the national popular vote.
  • Representative Dunn passed away on October 16, 2017. He was 52-years-old. 

Wood County (WV) Clerk Mark Rhodes

  • Serves 56,000 voters in his current position and was a deputy clerk in the same office before that.

Jefferson County (AL) Probate Judge Alan King

  • In Alabama, the presiding probate judge is the top election official in each county. Jefferson County, which includes Birmingham, is the state’s largest, with 450,00 registered voters.
  • King, a Democrat, has been supervising elections in Jefferson County since 2007.
  • King was recommended for the Commission by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, a Republican.
  • Has rejected President Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud. 

Maryland Deputy Secretary of State Luis Borunda (Resigned)

  • Works in an agency whose responsibilities include organization registrations, trademark registrations, and certain executive functions. While the office certifies candidates and serves on the state canvassing board, elections in Maryland are administered by the State Board of Elections.

 

Vice President Mike Pence (Chair)

The genesis of the Commission stems from a November 27, 2016 Trump tweet that said, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” To the extent Pence has been asked about that tweet, he has said the president has the “right to express his opinion” and that he does not know if the tweet “is a false statement.”

But whatever distance Pence has maintained from the president, he has his own recent history of making voter fraud claims. During last year’s presidential campaign, he boasted, “I’ll tell you, in the state of Indiana right now, we’ve got a pretty vigorous investigation into voter fraud going on.” He was referring to a state police investigation that included activity in 56 counties and a raid of the offices of a group working to mobilize low-income and minority voters, and alleged to have submitted false registrations. That large-scale investigation eventually led to charges not of fraudulent voting, but of twelve employees and the organization for submitted false registration applications to meet their quota requirement for compensation — a business practice that experts distinguish from someone actually casting an unlawful ballot. The county prosecutor announced “that these are not allegations of voter fraud nor is there any evidence to suggest that voter fraud was the alleged motivation.”

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Hans von Spakovsky

Hans von Spakovsky, now a Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, has been at the forefront of claiming widespread voter fraud and the necessity for strict voting laws for nearly two decades. Von Spakovsky is one of the leading intellectual forces behind the wave of conservative activist efforts in election law — where his record was so extensive that civil rights groups successfully blocked his 2007 nomination to a full seat on the Federal Election Commission. His anonymous 2005 law review article — published while he was an official at the Justice Department — made an early case for strict photo ID requirements, and his later writings on the topic include a book, with John Fund, titled Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk.

Von Spakovsky came to the Justice Department in 2001 following an early career in Georgia, where he served on the Fulton County (Atlanta) Board of Registration and Election. He quickly rose in the Department’s ranks and became counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

In that role, he was a key figure in advancing policies that limited access to the polls and shaping what critics regarded as the inappropriate politicization of Department matters. At the time, he claimed that states had no obligation to provide provisional ballots to certain voters, despite a federal law requiring exactly that. And under his leadership, DOJ pushed states to reject voter registration applications that did not exactly match data from other government databases — a policy that in Los Angeles led to over 18 percent of registrations being blocked due to typographical or technical errors. Courts ultimately rejected the idea that federal law required this practice, and states eventually abandoned it. He also pressured the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to allow Arizona to require documentary proof of citizenship from people registering to vote with the federal registration form — an effort the agency resisted.

Von Spakovsky’s handling of a 2005 Georgia law is a telling example of his approach. In 2005, the state passed a strict photo ID law, which required approval from the Justice Department. Four of the five Justice staffers who reviewed the law opposed it, saying eligible black voters were less likely to have required ID than whites.

Eight years earlier, in a public policy paper, von Spakovsky wrote, “Georgia should require all potential voters to present reliable photo identification at their polling location to help prevent impostors from voting.” And while the Georgia case was pending, Spakovsky published his anonymous law review article that advocated for photo voter ID. “Proving or verifying the voter’s identity should also apply across the board to all voters when they register to vote… Furthermore, a photo identification should be required as proof of identity,” Spakovsky wrote. Despite the staff recommendation, von Spakovsky and other senior Justice officials approved the Georgia law.

The Brennan Center and other voting rights organizations contend that von Spakovsky should have recused himself from the matter for two reasons. First, von Spakovsky was a former Republican election official from Georgia and a longtime advocate for voter ID laws in that state and elsewhere. Second, federal law prohibits Justice employees from engaging in outside activities that conflict with their workplace duties, including the duty of impartiality.

These practices eventually exacted a heavy price on the Department of Justice. With von Spakovsky in a critical leadership position, the DOJ leadership at the time so prioritized the pursuit of voter fraud investigations that it led to the improper firing of several U.S. Attorneys, government investigations, fourteen congressional hearings, and the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Upon leaving DOJ, Von Spakovsky received a recess appointment to the Federal Election Commission and was nominated to a permanent seat in 2006. At the time, the Brennan Center joined other advocates in opposition to his nomination and wrote: “given the controversy surrounding Mr. von Spakovsky's tenure at the Department of Justice, and his failure to alleviate that controversy in his responses to questions submitted in committee, serious questions remain concerning his ability to discharge his duties on the FEC with the unbiased care required.” Von Spakovsky withdrew his nomination in 2007. His position on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is his first government position since.

Today, Von Spakovsky also serves on the Policy Board of the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), a conservative activist legal group, which has brought claims against several state election officials for not removing ineligible voters from the rolls, allowing non-citizens to vote, and not providing records of maintenance of voting rolls. ACRU has also worked closely with von Spakovsky’s fellow Commission member, J. Christian Adams, and his group, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF). In 2016, PILF represented ACRU in suit seeking to compel election officials in Broward County, Florida to implement more aggressive purging practices. The case is ongoing.

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J. Christian Adams

J. Christian Adams is the President and General Counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), a conservative legal organization that has attempted to use litigation to support restrictive voting laws and aggressive purges of registration lists. Adams, like a number of his fellow Commission members, is a vocal supporter of voting restrictions like strict photo ID and documentary proof of citizenship. He has used both the courts and public discourse to advance this agenda and promote allegations of systemic voter fraud.

PILF’s litigation docket consists largely of cases brought to force states to more aggressively purge their voter rolls. Critics contend aggressive purges can end up removing eligible minority voters from the rolls, and that Adams has focused his efforts on places with a history of racial discrimination. PILF filed four of these cases in 2016 alone, in Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. The Florida and Texas cases are ongoing, the North Carolina case settled, and the Virginia case was dismissed outright.

Adams also actively defends challenges to voting restrictions. Last year, PILF joined Kris Kobach to intervene in a suit brought by the Brennan Center and other civil rights organizations against the Election Assistance Commission. That suit, League of Women Voters v. Newby, challenged the EAC executive director’s decision to allow three states to require documentary proof of citizenship for people registering to vote with the federal mail-in voter registration form. PILF joined Kobach to defend the director’s decision; fellow Commission member Christy McCormick refused representation from DOJ and retained the controversial activist group Judicial Watch as her personal counsel.

Outside the courtroom, Adams has aggressively promoted the existence of widespread voter fraud and non-citizen voting. In May, his organization published a report alleging that Virginia election officials cancelled over 5,000 voter registrations by non-citizens between 2011 and 2016. Prof. Justin Levitt of Loyola Law School and author of the Brennan Center’s Truth About Voter Fraud report, said the PILF report’s methodology appeared “specifically designed… to get inaccurate information.” In June, the Washington Times reported on a voter who appeared in PILF’s report, but who was actually a natural-born U.S. citizen erroneously removed from the rolls.

Adams is also a columnist for right-leaning PJ Media,which he uses as a platform for his views. Last year, he wrote of Ohio: “[w]hoever says voter fraud is a myth doesn’t know much about Ohio.” He offered this nationwide assessment prior the presidential election: “[t]ens of thousands of aliens are on American voter rolls, if not more. And they're voting.” And this past April, he described those who oppose more restrictive voting laws as “engaged in a coordinated crusade to preserve election vulnerabilities.”

Adams first came to prominence after resigning from the Department of Justice, where he served in the voting section in the Civil Rights Division from 2005 to 2010. At the time, he alleged that racial bias motivated DOJ to drop a voter intimidation suit against a group called the New Black Panther Party. At the time, Adams wrote that dismissal of the matter was the result of an “open and pervasive hostility… to bringing civil rights cases against nonwhite defendants on behalf of white victims.” The Department maintained that the case was dropped on the merits. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission published a report in which its then-conservative majority sided with Adams, 5-3. The dissenters included another Republican appointee, who called the majority report “tendentious.” Adams later authored a book titled Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department.

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Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson

Connie Lawson, a Republican, was appointed to serve as Indiana Secretary of State in 2012 by Gov. Mitch Daniels. She previously served 16 years as an Indiana state senator, including a period as Majority Floor Leader. Lawson co-sponsored the nation’s first strict photo ID law, which doesn’t allow Indianans to cast a ballot unless they present one of a limited list of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport (or meet certain narrow exceptions). Research shows that as many as 11 percent of otherwise eligible voters lack these documents.

While Lawson has supported restrictive measures such as Indiana’s Voter ID law, she also supported reforms to improve voter access, like online voter registration, and a bill that would have allowed “no excuse” in-person early voting. Such a measure would allow a voter to vote early without having to recite a valid reason for not voting on Election Day. The current Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Tim Lanane, said of Lawson, “I don’t view her as someone who has gone out of the way to deprive people [of] the right to vote.”

Lawson has been caught-up in a long-running controversy involving a voter registration group and the 2016 election. In early October, state police raided the Indianapolis offices of the Indiana Voter Registration Project, an effort to register minority voters for the 2016 election. The suspicion was that the Project was submitting voter registration forms that were missing information or downright fraudulent. About two weeks after the raid, Lawson weighed in, saying “thousands of dates of births and first names were changed,” in the state’s voter registration database and that “We believe this may be a case of voter fraud and have turned our findings over to the State Police…”

The state police, in turn, expanded its investigation from two to more than half of Indiana’s counties. Ultimately, twelve Voter Registration Project employees were accused of submitting falsified voter registration forms so they could meet their quotas and get paid. “Let me be clear that these are not allegations of voter fraud nor is there any evidence to suggest that voter fraud was the alleged motivation,” said Marion County (Indianapolis) prosecutor Terry Curry.

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U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Commissioner Christy McCormick

Christy McCormick, a Republican, was appointed to the Election Assistance Commission in 2014. She previously served as a senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice from 2006 until 2014, where she prosecuted violations of federal voting law.

In 2016, McCormick broke with her fellow commissioners to aid Kris Kobach’s intervention in a lawsuit brought by the Brennan Center and other civil rights organizations against the Election Assistance Commission. That suit, League of Women Voters v. Newby, challenged the EAC executive director’s decision to allow three states to require documentary proof of citizenship from individuals registering to vote with the federal mail-in voter registration form. Kobach intervened to defend the director’s decision. McCormick opposed DOJ’s litigation position with respect to the proof of citizenship requirement — first attempting to reject the Department of Justice as the agency’s attorney, and then retaining the controversial activist group Judicial Watch as her personal counsel. As the case proceeded, McCormick repeatedly tried to release privileged information relating to the DOJ’s representation of the EAC — first in a deposition requested by Secretary Kobach and whose contents remained sealed to the public, and subsequently in affidavits that were rejected by the court. The case remains ongoing.

In a January statement opposing the designation of election systems as critical infrastructure, McCormick was critical of allegations of foreign interference in the 2016 election. She wrote that a declassified government report’s “allegation that Russian intelligence had ‘obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards’ [was] patently untrue.” McCormick further contended that “[t]he only actual evidence of… meddling in state and local electoral boards is attempted meddling from our own Department of Homeland Security[.]” In fact, subsequent disclosures in the press have revealed further details on attempted foreign interference in last year’s election, including a Bloomberg report that “Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states.”

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New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner

William Gardner, a Democrat, was first elected to serve as Secretary of State by the New Hampshire State Legislature in 1976, and has been reelected by the State Legislature ever since. Over the years, he has taken positions that have placed him on all sides of debates over voter access.

Garner has directly disputed President Trump’s fraud claims that out-of-state residents were bused into New Hampshire to cast ballots, noting “we have never gotten any proof about buses showing up at polling places.” Nevertheless, he testified in favor of a controversial state senate bill that, as originally written, would have changed the standard of residency for voting such that college students who move to New Hampshire from out-of-state might have been ineligible to register and vote. The bill’s final, passed version was changed in a few ways, but remains controversial because it requires voters to show documents that prove residency.  So far, Gardner has not commented on the passed version of the bill.

Gardner has also been critical of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which, among For almost a quarter century, Gardner has been an opponent of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which allows people to register at government offices, such as the DMV. He has argued that more should be expected of those seeking to register, and that the NVRA may increase registration but not necessarily. In a statement to the U.S. Senate when it was debating the NVRA in 1993, Gardner wrote:

The Secretary of State's Office has been committed to eliminating past barriers to voting and feels strongly that the rights of all eligible persons to vote should be guaranteed, it also assumes that these same persons will take some responsibility as citizens, as President Clinton asked for in his inaugural address.

This bill attempts to describe those voting age citizens who haven't taken the time to register to vote as victims of a system which has deliberately attempted to make it difficult for them to vote. We, on the other hand, would ask, why should the 80 percent of the eligible voters in New Hampshire who have made the effort to register spend their tax dollars on the 20 percent who have not done so, especially when in our depressed economy we have so many other serious needs?

While Gardner believes that lowering barriers to registration won’t necessarily increase turnout, he also believes that restrictions on voting, such as photo ID, won’t harm it. “Our turnout has been increasing and it has increased in the two presidential elections that we’ve had photo ID,” he told WMUR after he was named to the Commission. “There had been a lot of talk that it would hurt turnout, but it certainly didn’t hurt it here.”

Gardner has expressed doubt that a voter fraud investigation would produce much evidence. He explained recently that he is joining the Commission “to solve that question of why so many people believe there is voter fraud.”

In 2015, he joined three of his fellow Commission members (Kobach, Lawson, and Dunlap), who, in their capacity as a secretary of state, voted for the NASS resolution opposing the continued authorization and funding of the EAC.

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Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap

Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat, served as Maine Secretary of State from 2005 to 2011 and has served in his current term since 2013. He has also discussed the possibility of running for governor in 2018.

Dunlap spoke last fall in opposition to Trump’s voter fraud claims, telling local media: “[i]t is frustrating for me… Among secretaries of state, we’ve been very concerned about the rhetoric around the conduct of the election… The process works.” He has also spoken out against photo ID laws, arguing that they provide “no additional security” and that he views such laws as a “cynical approach to keep low-income people, people under financial stress, minorities, [and] the elderly from participating in their democratic form of self governance.”

Nonetheless, Dunlap remains cautiously open minded about the work of the Commission.  Following the controversy over the Commission’s request for voter data, he stated “If we do uncover substantiations of perhaps thousands or hundreds of thousands, or millions [of illegal voters], then we’ve got a real problem on our hands. . . I don’t think we’re going to find that.” He has asserted that it’s better to participate in the work of the Commission, at least initially.

Although he has already discussed the possibility of resigning in protest, Dunlap remains cautiously open-minded about the Commission. He has already defended it. In the midst of the reaction to the Commission’s reaction for huge amounts of voter data, Dunlap said, “If we do uncover substantiations of perhaps thousands or hundreds of thousands, or millions [of illegal voters], then we’ve got a real problem on our hands. . . I don’t think we’re going to find that.”

Dunlap also believes he can work Commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach. “I have spent a little bit of time with Kris Kobach over the years. [About] 95% of his politics, I don't agree with. But I've had dinner with the man. I've never seen him eat human flesh yet,” Dunlap said. “I think that he's somebody I can work with fairly honestly, and if they try to put me in a position of advocating something I don't believe in, you can bet I'll have the bullhorn in my hand. I'm sure he'll respect that."

Dunlap is also one of four Commission members (alongside Kobach, Lawson, and Gardner) who, as a secretary of state, voted for a NASS resolution opposing the continued authorization and funding of the EAC.

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David K. Dunn

David K. Dunn, a Democrat, served in Arkansas’ House of Representatives from 2004-2010. He subsequently co-founded the lobbying group Capitol Partners LLC.

Dunn sponsored an unsuccessful 2007 bill that would have compelled Arkansas’ presidential electors to cast their vote for the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the results in Arkansas. Dunn was reportedly recommended for the Commission by Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin, a Republican and Dunn’s former legislative colleague.

Following his appointment to the Commission, Dunn told the press, “I don’t know why this has fallen on my shoulders…I’m just going to do the best I can, to be honest.” He also said in that same interview that he does not believe that millions voted illegally in 2016, and that Kobach told him he was not looking for commissioners to simply agree with the Commission’s desired outcomes.

Dunn passed away October 16, 2017. He was 52-years-old. 

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Wood County (WV) Clerk Mark Rhodes

Mark Rhodes, a Democrat, is currently the County Clerk of Wood County, West Virginia. He previously served as Deputy County Clerk.

Rhodes oversees elections for over 56,000 voters in Wood County. Rhodes has undertaken several initiatives to maintain accurate voter rolls, and also supervised the introduction of an online voter registration application system in 2015. In 2016, Rhodes also encouraged voters to bring identification to the polls if possible, even though West Virginia’s voter identification law does not go into effect until 2018.

After his appointment, Rhodes told the press that he believes West Virginia’s secretary of state recommended his appointment to the Voter Fraud Commission because Commission Chair Mike Pence and Vice Chair Kris Kobach were searching for a Democratic county clerk and “there’s not a whole lot of those in West Virginia.” Rhodes said he “believe[s] in the integrity of the election” and that his goal is to “help show that elections are honest.” In that same interview, he reported he had never heard any claims of voter fraud in his four years as a clerk, and that he does not think the Commission will focus on President Trump’s claim of voter fraud. However, Rhodes said he is willing to investigate to determine whether evidence of fraud exists.

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Jefferson County (AL) Probate Judge Alan King

As Jefferson’s County’s top election official, Alan King, works alongside other county agencies responsible for aspects of staging elections in Alabama, including the county registrar, circuit clerk, and sheriff.

When Trump asserted last October that “Of course, there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before Election Day,” King responded in the press. “It is a comment without any supporting documentation whatsoever, and I can assure the citizens of Jefferson County, we do everything exactly right,” he said.

King also made his views clear after his appointment to the Commission. “They are aware I am a life-long Democrat,” King said. “And I informed them that there was not any voter fraud in Jefferson County and there has not been any voter fraud for 30 years or more than that.”

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Maryland Deputy Secretary of State Luis Borunda (Resigned)

Luis Borunda, a Republican, has served as Maryland’s Deputy Secretary of State since January 2015. Borunda has made few public statements regarding elections or voting. The Maryland Secretary of State’s responsibilities include organization registrations, trademark registrations, and certain executive functions. While the office certifies candidates and serves on the state canvassing board, elections in Maryland are administered by the State Board of Elections.

Several days after the announcement of his appointment to the Commission, Borunda resigned from his post. He made no public statement at the time.

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