Archive for Sunday, April 20, 2014

Program run by Kobach checks voter registration records of more than 100 million people

April 20, 2014


— A little-known program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach goes through more than 100 million voter records from states across the nation.

Called Interstate Crosscheck, or "The Kansas Project," the program compares voter registration records from one state with 27 other participating states to check for duplicate voter registrations and possible double voting. The goal of the program is to clear up registration rolls, Kobach said.

Nearly all double registrations are unintentional, resulting from a person moving from one state to another and re-registering to vote, Kobach says.

But the computer program drills down further to try to find voters who may have voted in two separate states, he said. It's a program that Kobach's office provides for free.

"It's a state-run program that Kansas has developed and it's a service for the whole country," Kobach said.

The project has generated some controversy.

Earlier this month, Republican officials in North Carolina, a key battleground state, said the Interstate Crosscheck uncovered proof of widespread voter fraud. But after those initial reports, officials have walked back those assertions and were focusing on investigating a much smaller number of potential cases.

"They chose to make public the number of potential double voters," Kobach said of North Carolina officials.

Kobach said the number of potential double voters — those whose names and dates of birth match up in two states — is always much larger than "likely double voters," whose first and last names, dates of birth and last four digits of their Social Security numbers matched with a voter registered in another state.

But because of Kobach's partisan background, as former Kansas Republican Party chairman, and his push nationwide for photo ID laws to vote and proof of citizenship to register to vote, his work in this area has been suspect among some Democrats in other states.

But Kobach insists there is nothing partisan about this effort.

While most of the participating states are solid Republican or lean Republican, there are nine that are solid Democratic or lean Democratic.

"You hear Republican secretaries of state talking about the security of voter rolls probably more than Democrat secretaries of state, but they (Democratic secretaries of state) care about it just as much," he said.

While Kobach has increased the number of states in the program, in recent years at least two have dropped out: Florida and Oregon.

Florida officials say they would work on their own with other states to update registrations, and Oregon joined the Electronic Registration Information Center, a project started by the Pew Charitable Trusts that includes nine states.

The "Kansas Project" was started in 2007 by former Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh and also involved the states of Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska.

Kobach said that when he took office in 2011 and learned about the program he thought it was great and should be applied nationally.

"I have taken it under my wing and want to build it as one of my personal missions," he said.

The participating states send copies of their voter rolls to the Kansas secretary of state's office. The rolls are compared with each other to produce a report of people who may have registered to vote in two states.

The results are sent to the states and the copies of the states' voter rolls are destroyed, Kobach said. "We don't feel we should be keeping copies of other states' voter rolls."

He said 20 such likely double voters were discovered in Kansas in 2012, and those incidents have been forwarded to the appropriate county officials for possible prosecution, he said. He said he believed some cases were being pursued.


Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years ago

Great, Kris. Glad you care. Seriously, I am. How is that number of Voters in Suspense doing? Coming Down I Hope.(17,000 last time any one talked about the number) I am glad you have 20 possible cases of voter fraud to investigate(out of over 2 million Voters).Well, some said you were wrong and that there was no evidence of voter fraud. You showed them. I hope those that are in suspense will be removed from that list by your due diligence in time for The Elections. I now check my Voter status Weekly thanks to Your"Caring" actions. Thanks for drawing ALL of our attention to this Problem.

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

The potential maximum fraud based on 2012 number of registered voters is 0.00136332651670075%. That is a claim that that possibly 1 of every 73,350 registrations is fraudulent? Pardon me while I laugh hysterically. That could potentially change how many election results? And exactly how much money has been spent on this fiasco?

Larry Sturm 4 years ago

Kobach is the voter fraud problem And you can bet it is not free I don't know of any lawyer that works for free.

Phillip Chappuie 4 years ago

So taxpayers dollars are spent to check all this? Did we charge the other states an access fee? 20 issues referred to local county clerks? I think experience and history will show us that of these 20, most likely 20 are nothing but air headed mistakes or typos. I am glad that out Secretary of State can keep us entertained with his Quixotic misadventures.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years ago

Kobach rhymes with "K" (as in "Koch")

Larry Sturm 4 years ago

Talk about NSA surveillance what Kobach surveillance which is wrong.

William Weissbeck 4 years ago

Who are the most likely to be registered in two states - students. The problem arises that there is no uniform rules on when you have to renew an outdated registration. If some states keep you on the rolls from the last general election or presidential election, there could be very outdated records. But the opposite is no better. Some county clerks in college towns purposely send out registration reminders every year and use any returned mail to drop those students from the rolls, even though they continue to reside within the same precincts.

Greg Cooper 3 years, 12 months ago

"....It's a program that Kobach's office provides for free."

Right. The computer time, the data input time, the postage to notify the other states, the telephone time, the personnel time: none of these cost anything.


Richard Heckler 3 years, 12 months ago

It's all garbage. The fraud is in the computerized devices. You know design the program to say whatever ……. even spitting out lies. Kobach is a fraud for that matter which means to me he is being allowed to misappropriate tax dollars for his personal agenda. Where is the FBI and the grand jury?

Computers are inherently subject to programming error, equipment malfunction, and malicious tampering. Moreover, the seller of the machines, such as Diebold Corporation, is a supplier of money to right wing politicians. Diebold changed its' name. I am assuming it is because Ralph Nader subjected Diebold to some intense scrutiny then shared the findings to the public.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.