Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Friday that next year he’ll revive a proposal to give his office the power to prosecute election fraud cases, although he could face bipartisan skepticism from legislators. Kobach had pushed the idea after taking office in 2011, and his efforts to win legislative approval of the idea fell just short of passage two years later, even though fellow Republicans controlled the Legislature. Kobach won a second four-year term in this month’s elections with 59 percent of the vote. He persuaded legislators to enact a 2012 law requiring all voters to show photo identification at the polls and a 2013 statute requiring new voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship to register. But the secretary of state’s office can’t initiate election fraud prosecutions on its own, and such decisions are left to county or federal prosecutors.
… Kobach’s critics contend that he’s overstated the potential for election abuses, with relatively few fraud prosecutions over the past decade. “Show me the election fraud. Show me the names of the individuals. Show me the issues that happened, because I’ll bet they’re few, if not none,” said Rep. John Alcala, a Topeka Democrat serving on the House Elections Committee. “If he can’t bring the proof, it means he doesn’t need it.”