The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal court to enable documents from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s November meeting with President Donald Trump to be made public. Kobach earlier this month handed over the documents, which outline a proposed strategic plan for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, under a federal judge’s order. However, he marked the documents as confidential. The ACLU filed a motion with U.S. District Court of Kansas in Kansas City, Kan. late Monday seeking to remove that designation and enable their contents to be shared with the wider public.
When Kris Kobach, Kansas’ aggressive secretary of state, convinced the state legislature to give him prosecutorial power to pursue voter fraud, he said it was necessary to root out tens of thousands of undocumented aliens who were voting as well as tens of thousands more who he claimed were voting in two states. Two years later, Kobach has produced exactly nine convictions. Most of them were not illegal immigrants but rather older registered Republicans. Who Kobach targeted, and the controversial homegrown computer program he used to find them, matter even more now that he has been selected by President Trump to lead a commission on voter fraud. Kobach’s boss has claimed on numerous occasions, without evidence, that millions of illegal ballots cost him the popular vote. Kobach, despite his sweeping pronouncements to Kansas politicians, hasn’t found anything resembling a fraud of that proportion. What he found was Lincoln L. Wilson.
President Trump has empaneled a commission to investigate voter fraud. The real fraud is the commission itself. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is to be led by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Mr. Kobach, a Republican, is a longtime champion of voter suppression laws who seconded as “absolutely correct” the president’s fabricated assertion that Hillary Clinton’s victory in the popular vote, which she won by nearly 3 million ballots, was a result of “millions of people who voted illegally.” Mr. Kobach is notorious for erecting impediments to the ballot box — specifically, ones that would disproportionately discourage and deter minority and other Democratic-leaning voters. His presence as the commission’s vice chair — Mr. Pence’s other responsibilities make it likely that Mr. Kobach will be the panel’s driving force — makes a farce of the idea that the commission’s work will be dispassionate, fair and clear-eyed.
National: ACLU files Right-to-Know request with Secretary of State over election commission | New Hampshire Union Leader
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire has filed a Right-to-Know request with Secretary of State Bill Gardner, seeking information about his participation in the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The commission is headed up by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The Right-to-Know request in New Hampshire is part of a national campaign targeting commission members who currently serve as secretaries of state.
President Trump is doubling down on his false claims of voter fraud, fulfilling his promise to appoint a commission to study election integrity. We should see this move for what it is: a simple ploy to play into the misperceptions of his base, regardless of the evidence. More significant, if the focus of the commission is on election integrity, than it will be asking the wrong questions. We do not need a commission to tell us what we already know: Voter fraud, while existing occasionally in local races, is rare. Instead, we need to study why we make it far too hard for many people in this country to vote and what we can do to promote positive voting reforms. We need a commission on voter enhancements, not voter fraud.
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to step in and potentially overturn a lower court ruling that North Carolina’s restrictive voter-identification law is unconstitutional, specifically for how it targets black Americans. While this decision counts as a win for voting rights, it comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will lead President Trump’s new Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity. Trump, of course, claims that millions of people voted illegally in the last election; Kobach supports that claim.
Kris W. Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, oversees an office whose clerical and regulatory work costs the state’s taxpayers barely $5.5 million a year. But he has parlayed that modest post into a national platform for tough restrictions on voting rights and immigration, becoming both a celebrated voice within the Republican Party and a regular target of lawsuits by civil rights advocates. Now, as vice chairman of the new Advisory Commission on Election Integrity announced by the White House on Thursday (Vice President Mike Pence is the titular chairman), Mr. Kobach has a far bigger soapbox for his views on voter fraud — which Republicans, including President Trump, call a cancer on democracy. Others say it is a pretense for discouraging the poor, minorities and other typically Democratic-leaning voters from casting ballots. Academic studies regularly show — and most state election officials agree — that fraud is rare, and that the kind of fraud Republicans seek to address with voter ID laws is minuscule.
President Trump on Thursday named Kris W. Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who has pressed for aggressive measures to crack down on undocumented immigrants, to a commission investigating vote fraud, following through on his unsubstantiated claim that millions of “illegals” voted for his Democratic rival and robbed him of victory in the national popular vote. Mr. Kobach, who has championed the strictest voter identification laws in the country, will be the vice chairman of the commission, which will be led by Vice President Mike Pence and is expected to include about a dozen others, including state officials from both political parties, said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary.
A federal judge has given Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach until Friday to give the American Civil Liberties Union two documents outlining proposed changes to a federal voting law. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson said Wednesday that she privately reviewed the documents, including the one Kobach was photographed taking into a meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump in November. Robinson said she found no error in a magistrate’s April 17 ruling requiring Kobach to produce the redacted documents as part of a lawsuit challenging the state’s voter registration requirements. The ACLU is representing some Kansas voters and the League of Women Voters in that lawsuit.
Kris Kobach, who as Kansas secretary of state repeatedly made unsubstantiated voter-fraud allegations, will co-chair President Donald Trump’s new Commission on Election Integrity, igniting outrage from civil rights groups and top Democrats. Critics ridiculed the very creation of the commission Thursday, as well as Kobach’s role, saying it’s all intended to perpetuate the president’s false claim that millions voted illegally in November. The 12-member bipartisan commission will review claims of improper registrations and voting, fraudulent registrations and voter suppression, White House officials told McClatchy. Members will provide the president with a report in 2018 and may issue recommendations to the states. It’s a sham, charged critics.