AUGUSTA – Maine Republican Party Chairman Charles Webster said Monday he’s uncovered more than 200 cases of possible election fraud that occurred because Maine voter registration laws are too lax. He wants the secretary of state to review his findings.

“Our election laws need reform and I believe are being abused,” Webster said at a State House news conference.

Webster, who said he conducted his investigation as a private citizen, not as GOP leader, also said he thinks there’s more fraud to be found.

“I’ve only found the tip of the iceberg,” he said before asking Secretary of State Charles Summers Jr., Maine’s chief election official, to look into the matter.

Webster released the information amid a people’s veto referendum drive aimed at blocking a newly enacted law that would end Election Day voter registration in Maine, a policy that’s been in place for almost four decades.

Webster’s claims of fraud were quickly shot down by Democrats and leaders of a coalition that’s trying to force a statewide repeal vote.

Webster’s inquiry focused on students in the state university system who enrolled in school as nonresidents, but also registered to vote in Maine last year. Without revealing names, his list of 206 individuals shows their hometowns in nearly two dozen other states, mostly Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The list includes people who purportedly registered in their home states and then in Maine, international students who may not be legal U.S. citizens, and some who voted in their home states as well as Maine. Webster contends that residency requires drivers to get a Maine license and car owners to register their vehicles in Maine.

He believes his probe, which also involved 150 to 200 phone calls to town clerks, buttresses anecdotal reports over years that voter fraud is a problem in Maine.

At least one prosecutor says it is not. Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle, one of the first signers of the people’s veto petition, said Maine’s elections are “honest, secure and well-run.”

“We have never had any suggestion made to us that the Election Day registration of voters has led to the commission of any criminal acts,” Fowle said.

Barbara McDade, president of the League of Women Voters of Maine and a leader of the people’s veto campaign, dismissed Webster’s assertions as “spurious claims meant to draw attention away from the real issue.”

In the last two elections alone, same-day registration has enabled nearly 70,000 people to vote, supporters say.

Summers said he will comply with Webster’s request and see if any of the cases need to be followed up for possible criminal action.

Summers said Maine election law states that in order to register, a voter has to declare Maine as his or her residence and intent to return there after absences. But he said that requirement is not tied to a motor vehicle law saying a person who declares Maine as their home state has 30 days to change their driver’s license to Maine.

Summers also acknowledged that Maine’s residency standards are vague. “In a general sense, I’m sure a reasonable person would conclude there needs to be some clarity in terms of the election laws and motor vehicle laws,” he said.

Earlier this year, the secretary told a legislative committee that oversees voting that Maine’s four-year-old Central Voter Registration System, which contains more than 1 million voter records, gives election officials an electronic tool to keep real-time track of voting records.