Archive for Friday, March 9, 2018

Expert: Research doesn’t support Kobach’s claims of widespread voter fraud in U.S., 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.

March 9, 2018, 2:52 p.m. Updated March 9, 2018, 4:11 p.m.


— Some of the “handful” of noncitizens who made it onto voter registration rolls in Kansas in the last 20 years were registered because of confusion over the regulations or administrative errors, a national expert on voter fraud testified Friday in the fourth day of a trial that has grown increasingly tense.

Lorraine Minnite, a professor of political science at Rutgers University, testified in a trial that could determine whether thousands of Kansas residents are allowed to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a 2013 Kansas law that requires people registering to vote to show documents — such as passports or birth certificates — to prove they are U.S. citizens. The law was championed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is defending himself in the trial.

The ACLU contends the law has prevented thousands of people, mostly the young, elderly or poor, from voting in Kansas. Supporters argue the documentation requirement has prevented perhaps as many as 18,000 noncitizens from voting.

Minnite, author of “The Myth of Voter Fraud,” said while doing research, she found discussion of voter fraud in Kansas “rocketed up” after Kobach began campaigning for Secretary of State in 2010. Kobach’s continued public argument that voter fraud, particularly voting by noncitizens, is pervasive in the U.S. is “agenda setting” and not supported by her years of research, she testified.

During testimony on a Sedgwick County election spreadsheet that found 38 questionable voters, Minnite said several appeared to be on the rolls because of confusion or errors.

“That is normal, that happens everywhere,” Minnite said. “It is not a freak thing that there might be errors in Kansas.”

Garrett Roe, an attorney on Kobach’s team, sparred with Minnite over whether it was necessary to determine intent to prove a crime had occurred. She said noncitizens who vote have committed an illegal act but are not necessarily guilty of fraud if they had no intention to deceive.

Later Friday, Kobach called a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, who also has written a book on voter fraud, to testify in support of the law.

The Kansas City Star reported Hans von Spakovsky testified that other methods of identifying noncitizen voters, such as matching legal immigrants’ driver’s licenses with voter rolls, would not be able to identify people living in the country illegally. He also said noncitizens aren’t deterred by the possibility of prosecution for voter fraud “because we basically have an honor system” in U.S. elections.

Von Spakovsky served with Kobach on President Donald Trump’s now-disbanded commission on voter fraud and worked for the U.S. Department of Justice with Kobach during President George W. Bush’s first term.

Attorneys from the ACLU and the Kansas City-based Dentons law firm, which are representing voters suing Kobach’s office, questioned von Spakovsky about an email he wrote in early 2017 expressing concerns about Trump’s decision to put Democrats or mainstream Republicans on the voter fraud commission.

“There isn’t a single Democratic official that will do anything other than obstruct any investigation of voter fraud,” von Spakovsky wrote in the email.

Von Spakovsky testified that even a small number of noncitizens on voter rolls “could make the difference in a race that’s decided by a small number of votes,” but during cross-examination acknowledged that he could not name a specific federal election that was decided by noncitizen votes.

Throughout the week, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson has stopped testimony to admonish Kobach’s team or explain trial procedures, leading to an angry exchange Thursday between the judge and Kobach’s team over their efforts to introduce new evidence that has not been shared with the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

This continued on Friday, when Roe tried again through a different method to introduce updated numbers of noncitizens who registered or tried to register, prompting Robinson to lecture them that it was their duty to update or supplement those numbers before the trial began.

Earlier Friday, Robinson interrupted testimony from Bryan Caskey, elections director for Kobach, who would not answer directly when asked if Kobach’s office had notified suspended voters that they could vote in elections. The judge issued the order in a preliminary injunction in 2016 that temporarily blocked the law’s implementation.

Robinson took over questioning and Caskey eventually said he wasn’t sure if the office had notified the suspended voters.


Alex Landazuri 1 month, 1 week ago

kobach doesnt let facts get in the way of a good story

Paul Youk 1 month, 1 week ago

Only play left in GOP playbook is to cheat to win. District rigging and voter suppression must die, and this feckless liar is exactly the type that must be stopped and stripped of all power if our democracy is to survive.

Here's to automatic voter registration, more polling places (especially in densely populated areas), and a national holiday for voting, all of which need to become realities.

Geoff Ermlap 1 month, 1 week ago

Create a false narrative and just beat it to death. A tried and true strategy that has served the republican party well on infinite levels. Mind control at its best. Even Putin is probably jealous.

Bob Summers 1 month, 1 week ago

Expert=Congenital Liberal

The collusion continues Liberals and criminal trespassers. voter fraud.

Bob Summers 1 month, 1 week ago

The proof is in the behavior of the "Expert". Congenital Liberals collude with foreign vote meddling. See sanctuary cities.

Heck, even Liberal Susan Rice gave "stand down" orders to national security council officials developing aggressive options to respond to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, a new excerpt from Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump reveals.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

If that is your proof, Bob, then it would serve you well to "can it". No Russian meddling theorist has ever said anything about illegal voting. Your attempt at diverting this conversation about this story is lame, at best. Try to keep up with the adults.

Bob Summers 1 month, 1 week ago

There is no proof for the Liberal.

Not even the behavioral fact if it walks like a duck.

Richard Heckler 1 month, 1 week ago

ALEC aka bogus republicans is directly tied to the emerging trend among state legislatures to consider voter ID laws.

Using false allegations of “voter fraud,” right-wing politicians aka bogus republicans are pursuing policies that disenfranchise students and other at-risk voters — including the elderly and the poor — who are unlikely to have drivers’ licenses or other forms of photo ID.

By suppressing the vote of such groups, ALEC’s model “Voter ID Act” grants an electoral advantage to bogus Republicans while undermining the right to vote.

In addition, ALEC wants to make it easier for corporations to participate in the political process. Their Public Safety and Elections taskforce is co-chaired by Sean Parnell of the Center for Competitive Politics, one of the most vociferous pro-corporate election groups, and promotes model legislation that would devastate campaign finance reform and allow for greater corporate influence in elections.

ALEC now owns the republican party name = republicans have become an endangered species. The entire Kansas delegation in Washington DC are sponsored by ALEC = not republicans. Yes Kobach is a bogus republican.

Richard Heckler 1 month, 1 week ago

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Federal Voter Registration Form in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), a case on the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

Surprisingly, the judge in Kobach did not follow the roadmap laid out by the Supreme Court to challenge their decision on the NVRA, and instead sought to reopen the question of federal preemption in regards to the Federal Form.

In response to the disappointing decision in Kobach, the League has joined with our voting rights partners and filed an appeal challenging the ruling. While we’re waiting for the appeal to be accepted and heard, we’ve also filed a motion to stay the decision to prevent Kansas and Arizona from requiring documentary proof of citizenship while the courts continue to consider this issue.

The League is represented in this case by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, as well as pro bono counsel Kirkland & Ellis LLP and David G. Seely of the law firm Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch, LLC.

Ken Lassman 1 month, 1 week ago

Remember, if Kobach is elected governor, he could well preside over the redistricting process after the 2020 US Census. Gerrymandering districts is the ultimate voter suppression device that has been honed to a fine art by Republicans so can you imagine what a Governor Kobach would sign off on or reject as the governor who has to sign off on any plan?

Scott Burkhart 1 month, 1 week ago

She was called to testify as an expert for the defense because she does not believe that voter fraud is an issue. She wrote a book, that I have not read, defending this viewpoint. She couldn't very well go into court and admit that she might be wrong because that would fly in the face of her book. She's a lib. There are "experts" that say otherwise.

I do know this. The state of California is now REQUIRED to accept voter registration at the DMV when obtaining a driver's license. You are not required to provide proof of citizenship or anything else. If you can obtain a driver's license, you can vote. Oh, and illegal aliens can obtain driver's licenses in California.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

And California has the same statutes setting out voting requirements as does Kansas, and the same statutes covering investigating suspected voter fraud as does Kansas, and has spent less of its citizens' tax dollars trying to defend indefensible voter fraud laws than our own state. And the state has not fallen into a state of emergency from rampant Mexican nationals voting into law things that would cause the financial and social ruin of the state.

Now, back to the story at hand: nobody can prove that any modern day voter fraud has, in any significant way, affected the results of any lawfully held election, of which I've read or heard. Perhaps you have better information. If so, cite it. If not, then find a cause that isn't rooted in dislike or distrust of those who might not vote as you do or look and act as you do.

Ken Lassman 1 month, 1 week ago

Furthermore, despite Kobach's fabricated numbers about how many illegal voters are out there, there is no dispute about the 20,000 plus voters "in suspense" from from the last election and there is also no doubt that those votes could have changed the outcomes of the past election in several elections. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater....

Jim Slade 1 month, 1 week ago

Yes Kris Kobach, with his prosecutorial powers, has yet ot convict even ONE illegal alien of voting in Kansas.


Richard Heckler 1 month, 1 week ago

Every GOP candidate is not a republican. Instead we have Koch sponsored RINO's because Koch dollars have no use for republicans. Yes Koch dollars have reduced the GOP into extinction.


Make voter registration a done deal when one becomes 18. Why make people work so hard to be able to vote?

Election Day a Holiday – YES!

--- Bernie SANDERS Files to make election day a holiday

--- Petitions and such supporting Voting Day Holiday

--- Should Election Day be a national holiday in the United States?

Answer our instant poll:

Richard Heckler 1 month, 1 week ago

Voter ID aka Voter Suppression = removing moderates from the voting rolls.

Voters can be eliminated in each winner take all state by way of the Electoral College which is why the popular vote should be the rule. The person with the largest number of votes should win aka simple majority.

The electoral college sucks. Just like United We Stand sucks. Just like too much time spent on campaigning sucks. Just like wayyyyyyy too much money is allowed to be spent on campaigns sucks.

Richard Heckler 1 month, 1 week ago

Lets’s demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America :

Perhaps a change in policy should be on the next ballot.

Incumbents, famous political names say NO to the voters, live in glass houses and digest corrupt money.

We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue.

Who would be against Public Funding? The special interest money providers plus their bought and paid for politicians!

Michael Kort 1 month, 1 week ago

I hope that they enter facts on his falsified building permit scam here in Douglas County, Ks., as a testimony to Kobachs lack of character and his willingness to defraud this county over codes and property taxes .

It is just part of the Con......servative genetic condition, LIE ALLOT in public, in order to win some corrupt objective by fraud .

In KOBACHS case, SOS = Secretary Of Scams .

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