Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship law would have done nothing to prevent the type of voter fraud Secretary of State Kris Kobach alleges three people committed in recent elections. Kobach’s office announced three prosecutions last week of people he says double voted – casting ballots in more than one jurisdiction – after the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback granted him prosecutorial power earlier this year. Kobach is the only secretary of state in the nation with such authority. The misdemeanor charges against a pair of Republican voters in Johnson County and a felony case against a Sherman County man, whom Kobach calls a serial double voter, come after several years of Kobach warning of the threat of voter fraud to Kansas elections and pushing for stricter voting laws. Kobach’s critics have argued, with a strong dose of derision, that the fact that he has filed only three cases is proof that the threat of voter fraud has been overstated. But Kobach has said that he plans to file more cases over the next two months.
“If this is why we have been through six years of this to find three people … then it tells me that our secretary of state has been jousting at windmills for the past six years for his own political advantage,” said Rep. John Carmichael, D-Wichita, one of Kobach’s most outspoken opponents in the Legislature.
Kobach said that “there will enough prosecutions” to sway his critics about the need for stricter voting laws. “If we prosecuted, you know, 30 cases this month they would still say that’s enough voter fraud to worry about,” Kobach said. “They’re never going to be persuaded, nor am I going to try to persuade them. “I think most people realize that one case of voter fraud is too many.”
But Kobach’s critics have also noted that the three people charged with voter fraud don’t exactly fit the image of a voter fraudster that conservative Republicans have conjured up in recent years.