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Kobach defends photo ID to vote; wants power to prosecute alleged voter fraud


Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday there were no problems during the Nov. 6 general election with the photo ID requirement to vote, and he said he would push next year for the Legislature to give his office the authority to prosecute allegations of voter fraud.

The State Board of Canvassers on Thursday certified the Nov. 6 general election results. From left to right are Gov. Sam Brownback's general counsel Caleb Stegall, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

The State Board of Canvassers on Thursday certified the Nov. 6 general election results. From left to right are Gov. Sam Brownback's general counsel Caleb Stegall, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. by Scott Rothschild

"I think it makes sense that if we as a state take voter fraud seriously when it does occur that we prosecute the cases," Kobach said after a meeting of the State Board of Canvassers, which officially certified the results of the election.

Kobach pushed the photo ID law, saying it was needed to combat election fraud, but he acknowledged that there have no reports of voter fraud in Kansas this year.

The authority to prosecute voter fraud currently rests with county attorneys, but Kobach said those offices don't get around to investigating and prosecuting those cases because they are over-worked and under-staffed.

He said there have been 235 cases of alleged voter fraud in Kansas between 1997 and 2010 and not one has been prosecuted.

Kobach has tried to get authority to prosecute alleged voter fraud cases before, but the state Senate balked. Now that conservative Republicans will takeover leadership of the Senate next year, Kobach said he believes he can get such a bill approved.

On photo ID, the recently concluded election was the first general election in Kansas with the requirement.

Out of 1,182,771 votes cast, 838 provisional ballots were issued due to lack of sufficient photo ID, Kobach said. Of those, 306 voters presented ID before the county canvass to make their votes count. That means 532 provisional ballots were not counted.

But Kobach said he was confident nearly all those voters had photo ID. He said he bases that on checking on those who cast provisional ballots after the August primary against driver's license records.

In the Nov. 6 election, 66.8 percent of Kansas' nearly 1.8 million registered voters cast ballots. Republican Mitt Romney defeated President Barack Obama in Kansas by 59.7 percent to 37.9 percent with the remaining votes going to minor party candidates.


TecmoSuperBowlChristianOkoye 4 years ago

Good to see another small-government conservative so devoted to limiting the powers of government!

Perhaps if Kobach focused a little more on his actual job description instead of trying to fulfill his fantasies we might see something approaching competent governance in this state.

parrothead8 4 years ago

Great username. He was a beast. So was Barry Word.

jonas_opines 4 years ago

Also Lawrence Taylor and, of course, Bo Jackson!

jjt 4 years ago

Hang on, 235 cases of alleged voter fraud. Specifics please.. clearly the instances he is talking about will be in the public domain, examples please. If there were 235 cases of alleged fraud the national media would know about it.

deec 4 years ago

Probably none of the cases were prosecuted because they didn't actually happen. Why would overburdened prosecutors waste resources on cases for which there is no strong evidence?

Ken Lassman 4 years ago

I'll bet someone tried to crash the system by casting their vote for both candidates! yeah, an' there were some folks who tried to vote before they turned 18! Yes'm and then there were those folks who went up and died after they mailed in their ballot, and--here's the kicker--all of this has been done to the tune of 18 votes per year during the 13 year period I studied!!!! If this assault on democracy isn't enough to allow me to grab more power so I can protect us all, I don't know what it would take!!!!!

parrothead8 4 years ago

Using state resources to prosecute something that isn't a problem isn't very wise.

"Hello, Office of the Repealer? I'd like to make a suggestion concerning the Secretary of State's office."

Greg Cooper 4 years ago

You know, as the article started, the state has in place procedures to investigate and prosecute these heinous crimes. Overworked? Understaffed? Then come up with the dollars to take on these horrible miscarriages of justice. Adding more staff to the SOS office doesn't do anything but grow Kobach's need for power. And, by the way, let's see some documentation that these terrible things weren't investigated and cleared.

By the way, the SOS checked driver's license records and found that "most" of the provisionals should, in point of fact, have been allowed to cast countable votes, as they had state-issued licenses or IDs. So, what's the problem Kris?

As stated before, this is a very poor way of limiting government. And the Office of the Repealer should, if this idiocy becomes law, immediately repeal it.

jonas_opines 4 years ago

"Adding more staff to the SOS office doesn't do anything but grow Kobach's need for power."

Gosh, it's almost like that's why he's doing it!

clovis_sangrail 4 years ago

I think someone ought to look into what's going on in Wallace County. Barack Obama only received 9 percent of the vote, well below and less than a quarter of the 38 percent he received statewide.

Probably some funny business in Stevens County (12 percent) and Rawlins County (13 percent), too.

Someone has to keep those gaping primates in western Kansas in line, and I have every confidence Kobach is just the man to do it.

chootspa 4 years ago

Yes. There were no problems this year, other than the 535 people who didn't have their vote counted in order to prevent the average of 18 cases of alleged voter fraud per year. Great work killing those flies with that cannon. Next year you want even more ammunition?

verity 4 years ago

How far over the rainbow do we have to go before we put a stop to this crap?

KS 4 years ago

Don't be bitter. Just accept it and go on with life. Good grief, there have to be more important things in your life to be concerned with.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years ago

Is that the message of the new GOP?-- don't worry, be happy, and the plutocrats in charge might throw you a few crumbs. Will they pay for our lobotomies, too? (Who paid for yours?)

verity 4 years ago

I can be concerned about a number of things at one time and I am very concerned about some of the things going on in the Kansas government at this time.

I will not just accept it---never.

I don't know if you are being sarcastic or just stupid---which you are if you think this sort of power grab is not important.

kernal 4 years ago

KS, get back to your flock of ostriches and get your head back in that prairie dog hole.

Katara 4 years ago

"The authority to prosecute voter fraud currently rests with county attorneys, but Kobach said those offices don't get around to investigating and prosecuting those cases because they are over-worked and under-staffed."

So, basically, Kobach is telling us he doesn't have enough to do as Secretary of State. It sounds to me (especially since he has plenty of free time to spend in other states' "assisting" with immigration), that the Secretary of State needs to be made into a part-time position with a reduced salary to reflect the lesser amount of time needed for that position.

Dan Eyler 4 years ago

I agree with prosecuting voter fraud. It is happening across the nation thankfully less in Kansas. Those who argue against voter ID, know well that you show your ID on a daily or weekly basis for most major transactions. Are you suggesting fraud only happens somewhere other than the voting booth? Tell that to the thousands who have ID's stolen everyday. None of that is nearly as important to ones security or liberty than a single fraudulent vote.

deec 4 years ago

The last time I had to show my identification was in mid-September for job paperwork. Before that, I think it would have been in July 2010 for a different job. I.D. flashing is quite uncommon in small town rural America. People know each other there.

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

Let's prosecute Kobach on fraud. He is posing as a republican and claimed to be for smaller government. He has been lying on both counts which means all who voted for a republican were committing voter fraud.

Signing off on a legal document claiming to be republican may well be a form of perjury.

Violating his job description also is fraud.

Let's call for a grand jury investigation and send him the bill.

msezdsit 4 years ago

"wants power to prosecute alleged voter fraud"

Or in other words, I need some bite to go along with the phony law.

Doesn't matter if voter fraud was committed, only if I alleged it was committed. So, if you don't vote for my candidate I will use your ID to identify you and accuse you of fraud. Now, it doesn't matter that no voter fraud was committed , only that Kobach says you did. You now have to go through a trial to prove that you are a valid voter. Pick and choose. Who could have ever predicted this.

If you want to be sure not to be accused of voter fraud the best advice is to play it safe and not vote at all.

Liberty275 4 years ago

Isn't the AG supposed to prosecute criminal cases? Don't we already have one of those?

Hooray for getting voter ID laws passed, but your part is done Mr Kobach. Go do something different for a while.

average 4 years ago

Thank you for pointing out the obvious. We have an AG's office.

Kobach's problem is that even Derek Schmidt, buddies as they are, still has budget priorities and Kobach's pet wild goose chases aren't necessarily the AG's top priority.

FlintHawk 4 years ago

Love your tactic of blaming the messenger. It happens every time this paper runs a news article that you UberRightWingers don't like. And usually you accompany those complaints with allegations that the LJW is a "left-wing rag." Do you truly believe, by any stretch of anyone's imagination, that Dolph Simon is the tiniest bit left of center? If so, you and your cohorts are farther gone than I feared.

jonas_opines 4 years ago

"Do you truly believe, by any stretch of anyone's imagination, that Dolph Simon is the tiniest bit left of center?"

Of course they do. It's a faith thing.

Cait McKnelly 4 years ago

Since when did the SOS assume the powers of the AG?

mswayne 4 years ago

You have GOT to be kidding . . . he wants to be paid to prosecute alleged voter fraud in a state that is ALL but one county REPUBLICAN?? Does he think Republicans are cheating, lying, self-serving citizens??

Wait . . . now that I think about it . . .

deec 4 years ago

Now, be fair. There are actually two blue counties. Wyandotte is blue, too. But it's full of "takers" so it doesn't count.

We must support the GOP's efforts to eliminate the voting bloc of 1.9047 percent of Kansas counties that still have the audacity to vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

End sarcasm.

friendlyjhawk 4 years ago

Where is this voter fraud he wants to prosecute? What an idiot in an adminstration of idiots.

Centerville 4 years ago

If you want to read some funny stuff, get on Ann Mah's email list. Granted, she's not in her right mind right now, but rather than move on, she's decided to become obsessed with Kobach. Giving her normal tenuous grasp of reality, this phase is very entertaining.

verity 4 years ago

I find it interesting that the usual trolls can't seem to come up with anything to support this current power grab by Kobach---just insults to anybody who doesn't support it.

costello 4 years ago

I don't know about the rest of the counties in Kansas, but the Douglas County district attorney's office is NOT overworked and understaffed. Possibly the opposite.

In_God_we_trust 4 years ago

This really appears to have more to do with the State of Kansas becoming more compliant with the "Real ID Act" without your knowledge or approval.

John Hamm 4 years ago

It's about time. Now if the rest of the country had a voter ID requirement maybe we wouldn't have over 100% voter turnout in some polling locations. Voter fraud may not be a "problem" in Kansas, obviously because the BO Administration didn't fight the KS law, but it obviously is in many other states.

jonas_opines 4 years ago

Site your specific sources, please, so we can disprove them for you.

St. Lucie's District, I assume? False claim.

meggers 4 years ago

In addition to the provisional ballots that were cast, it would be interesting to see the turnout numbers compared to past elections. Preferably, broken down by county. Many people who are constitutionally eligible to vote, but didn't have the required photo ID probably didn't bother going to the polls at all.

blindrabbit 4 years ago

In addressing Herr KKKobachs issues with voter I.D. and fraudulant voter prosecution brings to mind several historical, mythical and literary comparasons. His efforts remind one of an "old fashioned snipe hunt", requiring a lot of effort by gulible people chasing something does not in-fact really exist. In reality his efforts harken back the voter suppression success that occurred in 1933 Germany (The Enabling Act) that gerrymandered the vote to allow one Herr Hitler to gain office. I'm also reminded thinking of poor Sancho Panza watching a deluded Don Quixote "Tilting" at non-existing windmills .

But the real takeoff is a re-wording of Winson Churchill's 1939 speech about Russia (Soviet Union). Kobachs efforts are; "A Fantasy, Wrapped Up in Fairy Tale, Inside an Fallacy".

Joe Hyde 4 years ago

Mr. Kobach's seeking of independent prosecutorial authority invites a duplication of law enforcement effort, not to mention the Secretary of State office would need more staff members to conduct said prosecutions, which ultimately leads to increased state spending.

Mr. Kobach could, I suppose, enter himself as a candidate for Kansas Attorney General in the next election. In that position he could legitimately indulge himself to the fullest in prosecuting this microscopically infrequent offense.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years ago

Adolf HItler did not take over Germany in the 1930s.

Adolf HItler made speeches, accused the Jewish population of Germany of being a "problem" and advocated for his plan to make Germany more economically sound.

Adlof Hitler lied, spewed misrepresentation of the probems that had created crushing economic disteess that the fall of the U.S.stock market had caused the German People.

Adolf Hitler convinced those in ppwer to put him in power by making him chancellor of Germany.

Adlof Hitler and the Nazi party did not take over Germany. The cflueless, spineless, frightened German poeple GAVE him the office of Chancellor.

Adlof Hitler and the Nazi party destroyed the German country, murdered millions, caused horiffic destruction of World War II.

Kris Kobach was elected to be Secretary of State in Kansas.

Kris Kobach has anointed himself as leader and chief advocate that illegal aliens are the "problem" in this country.

Kris Kobach has lied to Kansans about his activities, sluffing off his job as Kansas Secretary of State and travelling to other states with clueless and reckless Republican governers to advance his anti-immigration, anti-democratic, anti- imaginary fraud to those who will buy his drivel.

The slippery slope has strarted. This facist, and his most certainly is, has managed to get his facist and repressive laws into effect and is seeking more and more power to repress and defraud the citizens of Kansas and other states.

Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Do you want to have this facist headline-grabbing man continuing his crusade to format the election process in the United States to continue to repress and deny he voting rights of all citizens??

Adlof Hitler did..

Liberty275 4 years ago

Hogwash. Voter ID good idea, kill a human = go to prison.

There is no slope.

ChurchofReason 4 years ago

Thank you for posting that fascinating document. All those pages to document a few straggling cases, most of whom never fooled anybody anyway and their votes weren't counted. Ironically, the SoS office and federal attorneys and other authorities seems to have the "problem" well in hand, so why the need for voter ID laws that disrupt the election system many times more than these alleged (and rarely actual) cases of voter fraud?

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