Was anyone looking for the Kansas Secretary of State on Wednesday?
One person who might have been looking was Shanti Gandhi of Topeka, who wants Secretary of State Kris Kobach to intervene in a special election scheduled by Shawnee County commissioners to resolve a mix-up that caused many voters at one Topeka polling place to receive the wrong ballot in last week’s primary. Gandhi won the Republican primary for the 52nd District seat in the Kansas House but only by 45 votes, and he’s concerned the special election may unfairly lead to his defeat.
Someone in Kobach’s office reportedly responded to a letter from Gandhi on Wednesday, but Kobach himself wasn’t working for the residents of Kansas that day. He was working for another client: the city of Hazleton, Pa.
In fact, he was in Philadelphia defending the immigration laws he helped write for Hazleton before a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Working on immigration law across the country is something Kobach says he does in his spare time.
Perhaps he took a vacation day on Wednesday, but Kobach’s decision to continue to work for paying clients in other states still is troubling. No matter where Kobach is or what he’s doing, he still represents the people of Kansas. The people of Kansas elected him to serve as their secretary of state. That’s a full-time job that should have his full-time attention.