Update: Nov. 16, 8:12 a.m. - The outgoing chair of Maine’s GOP issued an apology for making comments “without proof of wrongdoing.”
The chairman of Maine’s Republican Party said he believes voter fraud took place on Election Day after “dozens of black people,” came in and voted in rural towns where they weren’t recognized by residents.
“In some parts of rural Maine, there were dozens, dozens, of black people who came in and voted on Election Day,” Charlie Webster told Maine’s WCSH in an interview this week. “Everybody has the right to vote. But nobody in town knows anybody that’s black. How did that happen? I don’t know. We’re going to find out.”
Webster, whose party lost control of both Maine’s House and Senate, this election cycle said that he believes without some type of voter ID law, the voting system is “fraught with abuse.”
“Let’s look at what happened on Tuesday,” he said. “Literally hundreds of new people came in. We don’t know if they’re residents or not, but they came in and voted. There’s no way of knowing that.”
Maine’s population is about 95% white, according to the latest U.S. Census figures.
Webster’s remarks add to the series of comments channeling the GOP’s racial resentment following the party’s Election Day defeat. During a conference call on Wednesday, defeated presidential candidate Mitt Romney told donors that he lost because of the “gifts” President Obama gave to minority voters.
Pressed by the Maine reporter where theses “dozens” of non-resident “black people” voted, Webster did not provide specifics or proof. “In several rural Maine towns,” he said.
Webster, who previously said he will step down from his position this month, then described a post card system where a thank you note would be sent to voters and a response would be expected. It was not entirely clear how it would work.
Webster upped the ante in a follow-up interview with Maine’s Portland Press Herald, saying that he was not not “talking about 15 or 20. I’m talking hundreds.”
The GOP chair also disputed the idea that he is racist. ”I’m not politically correct and maybe I shouldn’t have said these voters were black, but anyone who suggests I have a bias toward any race or group, frankly, that’s sleazy,” he told the Herald.
A spokeswoman for the state’s secretary of state told the Herald it had not received any complaints about Election Day.
Webster begins his comments about fraud in the video below around the 15:15 minute mark.