The Kansas Secretary of State’s office will waste little time making use of its new prosecutorial powers, Kris Kobach told a gathering of the Northeast Johnson County Conservatives on Tuesday. At the group’s monthly meeting at Burg and Barrel in Overland Park, Kobach said he was preparing to bring the first cases of voter fraud in September and October. Kobach gained the right to prosecute election fraud cases in June, when Gov. Sam Brownback signed SB 34, a bill Kobach had pushed for since shortly after coming into office in 2011. No other secretary of state’s office in the country has similar powers.
“The authority took effect on July 1, and we’re already getting cases ready for prosecution,” he said. “You’ll see a few of them rolled out starting in September. And people not only in Kansas but all across the country are watching because people who focus on this issue know voter fraud occurs everywhere, even in Kansas after we have photo ID and proof of citizenship, there are still types of fraud that still occur, like voting twice.”
Asked by an audience member what percentage of votes cast in Kansas are the result of fraudulent behavior, Kobach acknowledged that the figure was “pretty small.” From the 2010 and 2012 election cycles, he said, his office had identified 18 suspected cases of double voting. However, for the 2014 cycle, the office is investigating more than 100 cases — though he said some of those suspected cases will certainly be “false positives.”