Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect behind some of the nation’s strictest voter ID requirements, is asking lawmakers to give him the power to press voter fraud charges because he says prosecutors do not pursue cases he refers. The state’s top federal prosecutor, however, says Kobach has not sent any cases his way. Some county prosecutors say cases that have been referred did not justify prosecution. Kobach publicly chastised Kansas-based U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom late last year, telling Topeka television station WIBW he had referred voter fraud cases to Grissom and that Grissom didn’t “know what he’s talking about” when he said voter fraud doesn’t exist in Kansas. But in a Nov. 6 letter sent from Grissom to Kobach and obtained by the Associated Press through an open-records request, the prosecutor responded that his office received no such referrals from Kobach and chided the secretary of state for his statements.
“Going forward, if your office determines there has been an act of voter fraud please forward the matter to me for investigation and prosecution,” Grissom wrote. “Until then, so we can avoid misstatements of facts for the future, for the record, we have received no voter fraud cases from your office in over four and a half years. And, I can assure you, I do know what I’m talking about.” Grissom said last week that Kobach never replied to his letter.
… Kobach told lawmakers last month that in the 2010 and 2012 Kansas elections, for which there were 1.7 million registered voters, his office found 18 cases in which it appeared someone double-voted by voting in advance and then at the polls. He said 15 cases were referred to county prosecutors; one was dropped because the voter had died, one was sent to the FBI, and one was referred to the Texas attorney general, who Kobach said was more aggressive about pursuing voter fraud cases than some Kansas prosecutors.
Kobach said action was taken in only seven cases, which is why he needs the power to press charges himself. The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, located in the state’s largest metropolitan area, said it investigated the one case Kobach referred there, but the facts behind it didn’t warrant prosecution.