The last week has exposed the incompetence of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach at home and his standing as a national embarrassment as a public official. For a guy who wants to wipe out “voter fraud” — which national experts have shown time and time again does not exist — Kobach appears to be involved in his own fraudulent attempts to prevent people from voting. Right now, Kansas residents are left to wonder who’s minding the shop at the secretary of state’s office as Kobach gallops around the country seeking fortune and fame. There’s so much to cover, but let’s start with this. On Friday, Johnson County court records show Kobach’s office suddenly dismissed misdemeanor counts related to unlawful voting against Betty Gaedtke “without intent to refile.” A jury trial scheduled for Monday was canceled.
This was one of three high-profile criminal cases Kobach announced last October after he got the Kansas Legislature to give him power to prosecute in voter fraud cases.
Now, two of the cases he filed basically have been complete duds, exposing no “fraud” at all. Last December, Steven Gaedtke, Betty’s husband, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unlawful voting. Kobach wasted a lot of time and money and got the taxpayers of Kansas nothing in return.
On Thursday, a Daily Kos news report revealed that the voting guides on Kobach’s state website for English readers and for Spanish readers were slightly different, in significant ways. The Spanish translation of the voters’ guides gave readers incorrect or incomplete information on how long a person had to be registered before an election and what kinds of documents could be used to register.