Local lawmakers and prosecutors share concern over pending legislation that if passed, would give Secretary of State Kris Kobach the power to prosecute election fraud cases. Different versions of the bill containing Kobach’s proposal already have been approved by the House and Senate, and there is speculation the final bill will be passed by the Legislature by the end of this week. State Rep. Russ Jennings, R-Lakin, said he is completely against it. “I voted against it in committee. I voted against it every step along the way,” Jennings said.
“We have 105 county attorneys and an attorney general, and we don’t need another prosecutor. I don’t think that we need to continue to spread prosecutorial authority to every elected official in the state, or to every agency in the state, and that we have plenty of resources in place to investigate and prosecute voter fraud now … We elect county attorneys because they are from the communities in which these prosecutions would occur, and I believe they have the best sense of what the expectations of those communities are and are far more accountable for their actions than state officials.”
State Rep. John Doll, R-Garden City, said the current laws, as written, are more than sufficient to deal with voter fraud.
“I adamantly oppose expanding the powers of the department, where I see absolutely no need to do such. We’re all concerned with people voting who aren’t registered and that sort of thing, but it hasn’t been proved out. All there have been is accusations. There has not been any proof on a scale of any sort of it actually happening,” Doll said. “I think we’re trying to get into areas that we don’t need to get into. I think it’s been handled pretty well the last 150 years, and I think we need to continue the way it’s been handled.”