Kansas Secretary of State Kobach thinks he’s found some voter fraud…enough to count on one hand

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced today that his longstanding efforts to rid the state of the threat posed by rampant voter fraud are finally bearing fruit. Kobach was granted special powers to prosecute voter fraud cases that localities declined to pursue — becoming the only secretary of state in the country with such power — and today he announced that he will finally use those powers…to prosecute three cases.

From the Wichita Eagle:

Kris Kobach, via Wikimedia Commons

Kris Kobach, via Wikimedia Commons

The two 2010 cases from Johnson County listed in the documents Kobach presented involved allegations of double voting in Kansas and Arkansas that the county declined to prosecute.

The case from Sherman County involves an allegation of double voting in Kansas and Colorado. It was referred to the FBI, but no action was taken, according to Kobach’s March testimony.

Kobach has spent his entire term trying to find as many cases of voter fraud as possible, and over the course of that time has found precisely three cases that he feels stand a chance at getting a conviction. For reference, when he originally pushed for the legislation, he presented eighteen alleged cases of double voting between 2010 and 2012 to the legislature. In announcing these three prosecutions, Kobach hinted that he may file one additional charge regarding an allegation of fraud in Sedgwick County.

Regardless as to whether charges are filed in the remaining fifteen cases, this goes to show how exceedingly rare in-person voter fraud is, and how its effect on our elections is completely nonexistent. Note that Kobach isn’t alleging that there is any coordinated effort on the part of any of these people to get people to commit fraud en masse, he’s simply found a handful of individuals who may or may not have voted one more time than they were supposed to.

Even if Kobach secures convictions in all of these cases, he won’t have made a case that any of his or other Republican voting restrictions are warranted, as he still won’t have been able to show that in-person fraud is having a meaningful effect on the outcome of our elections. Conversely, the solution to this non-problem, voter ID laws, have been shown to have such an effect.

And while all of this is going on, Kobach’s office continues to ignore the far more credible evidence that elections in his state and others have been compromised by irregularities with the state’s electronic voting machines. But those irregularities benefit establishment Republicans, so they don’t warrant a second look.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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