Archive for Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In first for Kobach, noncitizen pleads guilty to illegal voting in Kansas

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Topeka.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Topeka.

April 12, 2017


— Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced Wednesday that he has obtained his first conviction of a non-U.S. citizen voting in Kansas elections.

Victor David Garcia Bebek, who resides in Wichita, pleaded guilty April 7 to three misdemeanor counts of voting without being qualified, Kobach's office said. He was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and placed on probation for up to three years, or until his fine is paid.

The conviction comes at a time when a law that Kobach championed in 2011 requiring people to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote is being challenged in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan. Last year, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of major provisions of the law until the case is decided.

According to Kobach's office, Bebek, who is originally from Peru, became a naturalized U.S. citizen on Feb. 27. However, before he became a citizen, Kobach alleged, he voted in three elections in Kansas in 2012 and 2014.

It was the first conviction of a non-U.S. citizen voting in Kansas since the proof-of-citizenship law was adopted, and the eighth conviction for voting fraud that Kobach has obtained since passage of a law in 2015 giving the secretary of state's office authority to prosecute voting crimes.

Since the proof of citizenship law took effect in 2013, tens of thousands of would-be voters have had their registrations blocked for failing to provide the required citizenship documents.

In a decision upholding Judge Robinson's temporary injunction, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said last year that Kobach's office must prove that a "substantial number" of noncitizens have registered in Kansas and that documentary proof of citizenship is the "minimum amount of information necessary" for the state to determine whether someone is eligible to vote.

“The problem of non-citizens voting is a serious one, both in Kansas and nationally," Kobach said in a statement announcing Bebek's guilty plea. "Every time a non-citizen votes, it cancels out the vote of a United States citizen.”


Carol Bowen 1 year ago

Is one ineligible voter substantial?

Bob Smith 1 year ago

This invalidates the myth that illegal aliens never vote in American elections. There will be more.

Kendall Simmons 1 year ago

How many, Bob? Two? Three?

No one ever said illegal aliens never vote in American elections. Rather, people have been saying that it's a "false fact" that MILLIONS of them do. That there are so many that it's OK to deny tens of thousands of legitimate citizens the right to vote.

Kobach has caught ONE noncitizen voting in the last 5+ years. Oh! The horror! 7 citizens. One noncitizen. Whee.

David Campbell 1 year ago

Show us evidence of this myth Bob. I've never heard of it.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year ago

So this man did break the law, but he wasn't undocumented. He was here legally. I thought all the undocumented immigrants were voting?

So, Bob, 1 legal immigrant down, millions of illegals immigrants to go. And in your mind if one legal immigrant voting before they became a citizen, then they are all voting illegally? And, of course, if one black man is a thug, they are all thugs. If one Muslim is a terrorist, they are all terrorists. If one woman dumps you, the are all btchs. But somehow if one white guy shoots up a black church, not all whites are violent racists. Really simplistic, sloppy thinking, Bob.

Bob Smith 1 year ago

You keep making up what other people think and you are always totally wrong.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year ago

Then why do you assume that immigrants who haven't become citizens are voting in the millions, like your hero believes. So far, one. One measly one, who was probably confused that he couldn't legally vote yet. And believe me I'm real sure that Kobach has been looking desperately for this one, anyone. He hates immigrants so bad. Next he will be arguing that we should take his citizenship away from the guy.

We don't know how this guy voted, but a lot of the rest of the voting frauds have been registered Republican, voting in 2 states. Should we assume that Republicans like to vote in 2 states?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year ago

"Every time a non-citizen votes, it cancels out the vote of a United States citizen.”

Seriously? Did this guy throw an election? So we have caught one non citizen who voted illegally, but we have prevented hundreds of citizens from voting, who don't have the money to get their birth certificates or, in the case of several elderly people, never had a birth certificate. Who is canceling out US citizens' votes?

Shane Garrett 1 year ago

All the fishing for and catching of illegal voters; must be why we need a new prison built to replace the one in Lansing.

Steve Hicks 1 year ago

In 2015 Kris Kobach requested law-enforcement powers for his office (the only Secretary of State in America to have such powers); and the legislature gave it to him. Also gave him a budget-increase of $408,399 to catch and prosecute all those illegals voting in Kansas.

It's worth noting that Kobach and the compliant legislature are both of the political faction that prides itself on opposing greater power and increased spending for government. Indeed, Kobach's campaign slogan the year after he'd successfully pressured the legislature for greater power and more money was that he is "A Consistent Conservative."

But maybe the $400,000 (increased in subsequent years) we gave him from an already-failing state budget was well-spent..?

The Pew 2014 poll estimated there were 75,000 illegals in Kansas, 2.5% of the national total.

Kobach's recent claims (which he shared personally with the current president, to back up one of the president's tweets) were that 3 to 5 million illegal aliens voted in the 2016 election. If Kobach' and the president's assertion is true, some 75,000 to 125,000 illegals voted in Kansas in 2016 (2.5 % of the national total).

Taking the more conservative figure (which Kobach should like): and Pew's more fact-based estimate (which Kobach doesn't), virtually every single illegal alien in Kansas VOTED in 2016: including some 30,000 children and infants. The current president says that kind of massive illegal voting is the reason Hilary had more popular votes than he did: and Kobach agrees.

But we can be thankful that the extraordinary law-enforcement powers, and million or so dollars, we've given our Secretary of State has made a difference in Kansas.

Granted, seven the eight felons Secretary Kobach has charged were, as I recall, elderly white Republicans: and no doubt Secretary Kobach will discover and bring to justice more such criminals in his war against illegal voters.

But at least Kobach's two-year crusade has brought about the prosecution of one illegal alien voter. Can any other state boast they've made such a dent in the illegal-voter problem ?

Kobach' relentless enforcement of the tough "Secure and Fair Elections Act" he pushed through the compliant legislature in 2011 has made a huge difference for our state. By Kobach' own estimate, he has whittled down the flood of illegal-alien voters in Kansas to a mere 74,999.

Money well spent, I say, even for a bankrupted state government.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year ago

And what's funny, is this guy wasn't illegal. He was legal. And he is from Peru, not Mexico. Of course, there are stupid people out there who think that anyone who is hispanic is from Mexico. But he is legal. And now he is a legal citizen, which I'm sure Kobach hates.

Steve Hicks 1 year ago

Whoops ! My mistake. In February of this year Secretary Kobach claimed there were "as many as 18,000" illegal aliens on Kansas voter-rolls.

So Kansas has LESS than it's 2.5% share of the national-total three-to-five million illegal-alien voters the Kobach-Trump brain-trust discovered...? That's a relief for all of us, I'm sure.

My apologies, Secretary Kobach, and I hereby revise my calculations to agree with yours. You've bravely staunched the flood of illegals voting in Kansas, and reduced it to a mere 17,999.

Good job ! Well worth our million dollars invested in your self-serving lies.

I stand corrected. You truly ARE a "Consistent Conservative."

Gavin Fritton 1 year ago

No. It's not substantial. I would wager a house payment that there hasn't been a single election for anything greater than precinct committeeman/woman in the entire state of Kansas for the whole of Kobach's entire tenure than has been decided by eight votes or fewer.

Kobach says that this problem is rampant and he only now has one conviction. Given the one conviction, we can only draw one conclusion of a possible two: Either he is a) wrong/lying about the size of the problem, or; b) entirely incompetent when it comes to catching people who do it. Now, I am not above thinking he is incompetent (and I do) and the two are not mutually exclusive, I tend to think that he is actually lying about the problem as an excuse to make voting more difficult for people who won't naturally vote for Republicans like him.

But that doesn't make sense. He's a man of the people, right? RIGHT?!

Carol Bowen 1 year ago

First, Kobach pushes through the Secure and Fair Elections Act. Then he acquires the authority to prosecute, and consequently a budget. After all of this has transpired, he is collecting data to support his position ... after the fact. Let's see how long that will fly as his defense in court.

Richard Heckler 1 year ago

How much did Kobach pay this man to all allow Kobach to convince the person he violated a law?

Was an interpretor present?

Was the man able to hire legal representation?

Did the man fear for his life which is why he pleaded guilty?

Did the man have any idea what he was setting himself up for?

Richard Heckler 1 year ago

I am more concerned with electronic voter fraud than I could ever be about immigrants voting.

I would not be surprised that electronic voter fraud aka election theft took place in the latest election where Estes won .......

Election Theft

Vote hackers are in the USA. The devil is in our own backyard.

What about the new voting machines? Where did they come from? Conservatives own voting machines which is to say perhaps the machines had been corrupted to insure an Estes victory.

Corrupt voting machines fit with the conservative and illegal voter suppression movement.

Our electronic voting machines can be programmed to vote wrong and print out a receipt looking like the machine voted correctly.

Paperless Electronic Voting.

Every vote needs to count counts. There needs to be a transparent system of vote counting so that people can trust that their vote is counted as they cast it.

Paperless electronic voting on touch screen machines does not provide confidence to ensure votes are counted the way voters intend.

The software on which votes are counted is protected as a corporate trade secret, and the software is so complex that if malicious code was embedded, no analysis could discover it. Further, because there is no voter verified paper record, it is not possible to audit the electronic vote for accuracy, nor is it possible to conduct an independent recount. This is a grotesquely designed, over-complicated, expensive system fraught with the potential for mistakes and undetected fraud.

On July 23, 2003, the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute reviewed the electronic voting system in Maryland and found that it had security far below even the most minimal security standards.

In the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2004, four top computer scientists from the University of California, Johns Hopkins University, and Rice University similarly critiqued Diebold’s voting system:

"We found significant security flaws: voters can trivially cast multiple ballots with no built-in traceability, administrative functions can be performed by regular voters, and the threats posed by insiders such as poll workers, software developers, and janitors is even greater.

Some believe voter suppression is effective

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