Kris Kobach’s incompetence on voting rights has been exposed for all Kansans to see — again. In a nationally watched case, the Republican Kansas Secretary of State was slapped down late Friday by a federal appeals court for trying to enforce his overly restrictive voting law. Instead of trying to make it easier to cast a ballot, Kobach has been engaged in a campaign making it harder for young people, minorities and poorer residents — often Democratic voters — to do that. Up to 50,000 Kansans could be affected, state officials say, higher than earlier estimates of 18,000 as more people register to vote this summer.
Essentially, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Kobach — under a law he pushed through the Legislature — could not stop eligible Kansans from voting in federal elections this fall. These people do not provide proof of citizenship when registering at motor vehicle offices — which they can do under federal law.
Kobach has claimed that voter ID laws like his are needed to prevent fraudulent voting. But he has never been able to prove it exists. And the courts keep pointing out that stubborn fact to Kobach.
The 10th Circuit’s ruling upholds another judge’s order in May for Kobach to clean up his act, which followed yet another judge’s ruling in early 2016 on a similar matter.