Kris Kobach

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Kansas: Voting trial over. One more court day, a contempt hearing, ahead for Kobach | The Kansas City Star

A federal judge will decide whether thousands can vote in Kansas this fall after the conclusion of a two-week trial that saw a leading candidate for governor scolded and scrutinized. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican candidate for governor, led the legal team defending the state’s proof of citizenship requirement, a policy he crafted, against a pair of federal lawsuits. The case will have national implications because Kobach has previously advised President Donald Trump on voter fraud and remains in contact with his administration. The trial wrapped up Monday evening, but Kobach still faces a contempt hearing Tuesday. Kobach’s office has pointed to 129 non-citizens that it says either registered or attempted to register over nearly two decades, but he has repeatedly said this number could be “the tip of the iceberg” and has offered estimates that as many as 18,000 are on the state’s voter rolls. Read More

Editorials: Kris Kobach’s Voting Sham Gets Exposed in Court | The New York Times

The modern American crusade against voter fraud has always been propelled by faith. That is, an insistent belief in things unseen — things like voters who show up at the polls pretending to be someone else, or noncitizens who try to register and vote illegally. Fraud like this is so rare as to be almost unmeasurable, and yet its specter has led to dozens of strict new laws around the country. Passed in the name of electoral integrity, the laws, which usually require voters to present photo IDs at the polls or provide proof of citizenship to register, make voting harder, if not impossible, for tens of thousands of people — disproportionately minorities and others who tend to vote Democratic. The high priest of this faith-based movement is Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate who has been preaching his gospel of deception to Republican lawmakers for years. He has won plenty of converts, even though he has failed to identify more than a tiny handful of possible cases of fraud. In his eight years as secretary of state, he has secured a total of nine convictions, only one of which was for illegal voting by a noncitizen; most were for double-voting by older Republican men. Read More

Kansas: Let’s check in with Kris Kobach’s illegal voter quest | Salon

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach wants Americans to believe that voter fraud is such a pervasive problem that it could even explain how Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. It’s one thing to point out that the overwhelming majority of political experts disagree with his assertion; even his own expert, however, won’t back up his claim. During a trial over Kansas’ restrictive voter registration law, political scientist Jesse Richman was unable to support many of his claims as he was interrogated by two lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. Richman was testifying as an expert witness for Kobach, who has pointed to Richman’s work in order to back up his own theories about voter fraud during the 2016 presidential election. Read More

Kansas: Kobach witness can’t support claim that illegal votes helped Hillary Clinton | Topeka Capital Journal

Jesse Richman endured a blistering critique Tuesday of his estimate of 18,000 noncitizen voters in Kansas and said he couldn’t support claims by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote because more than 3 million illegal ballots were cast in the 2016 presidential election. Richman, who teaches political science at Old Dominion University, testified as an expert witness for Kobach in a trial over the state’s voter registration law. Kobach, who is seeking the GOP nomination in this year’s governor’s race, has referred to the 18,000 figure as the best available estimate for showing proof of citizenship is needed to address widespread voter fraud. American Civil Liberties Union attorneys took aim at shortcomings in Richman’s methods and presented two experts to refute his conclusions. Varying estimates from Richman are based on small-sample surveys, including one in which six of 37 noncitizens said they tried to register to vote. Under questioning by ACLU attorney Dale Ho, Richman acknowledged he had no way of knowing if those six were successful in their efforts. Read More

Kansas: ‘Incredible and offensive’: Retired attorney feels sorry for Kobach team in voter fraud trial | Topeka Capital Journal

Bart Budetti thinks Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and his assistants are in over their heads and wasting U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson’s time. A 75-year-old retired attorney who once found himself opposite Kobach in a legal dispute over a food bank, Budetti watched a trial unfold last week with daily confrontations and colorful references to a bazooka, red herring, icebergs, Gmail usage and the type of sandwich that can be used as fertilizer. Kobach is defending himself and the state’s voter registration law in a case that challenges his ability to prove claims of widespread fraud. Video of previously sealed testimony from Kobach’s deposition last year revealed he prepared for the eventuality of losing the case. Read More

Editorials: Kris Kobach’s Voter-Fraud Failure Is on Trial in Kansas | Francis Wilkinson/Bloomberg

For a public employee with a full-time job, Kris Kobach has an enviable amount of free time. Elected Kansas secretary of state in 2010, he traveled the country advising right-wing politicians on the best ways to chase undocumented immigrants from their states. After the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, Kobach kept his day job in Kansas while leading Trump’s voter-fraud commission, a political Hindenburg that self-combusted in January after having conspicuously compiled no evidence whatsoever to justify its existence. This week, Kobach, who is frequently away from his office running for governor, is in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, where he has opted to represent his office in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the League of Women Voters and individuals. Read More

Kansas: Kobach, ACLU clash over Kansas voter law at federal trial | The Wichita Eagle

Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the ACLU fought at a trial Tuesday over a law that could affect whether thousands of Kansans will be able to vote this fall. The outcome will affect people like Charles Stricker, a manager at the Ambassador Hotel in Wichita who was the first witness. Stricker thought he had registered to vote in 2014 when he signed up at a DMV, but it turns out he wasn’t. He hadn’t provided proof of citizenship as required by a 2013 Kansas law. The ACLU has sued in federal court to permanently block the law, saying it is unconstitutional and has denied thousands of Kansans the ability to vote. Read More

Kansas: Federal judge to Kobach: ‘That’s not how trials are conducted’ | The Kansas City Star

A federal judge rebuked Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach Thursday after his team tried to introduce data that has not been shared with plaintiffs’ attorneys into a trial. Kobach, a Republican candidate for governor, is handling his own defense with the help of two staff attorneys in the lawsuit against a Kansas law that requires prospective voters to provide proof of citizenship in order to register. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson has repeatedly warned Kobach’s team about trying to introduce evidence that has not been shared with the plaintiffs during the first three days of the high stakes trial, which will determine whether thousands can vote in Kansas this November. Read More

Kansas: Kobach testimony could give insight on talks with Trump | The Kansas City Star

A federal judge will allow the ACLU to show video of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaking about his advice to President Donald Trump as part of a trial that will determine whether thousands can vote in Kansas this November. The video of a 2017 deposition will serve as a piece of evidence in the American Civil Liberties Union’s challenge of a Kansas law that requires prospective voters to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, before they can register to vote. Kobach’s team objected Wednesday to the showing of the video on the grounds that they had not had a chance to review it. They asked that a transcript of the deposition be read instead. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson agreed to delay the viewing of the 45-minute video until Thursday to give Kobach’s team a chance to review it, but she rejected the request to prevent it from being played at the trial. Read More

Kansas: Trial Tests Kansas Voter Registration Rules, And Kobach’s Fraud Claims | KCUR

A Kansas law that blocked tens of thousands of voter registrations goes on trial this week in federal court — testing whether fraud is common enough to warrant tougher registration rules. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach wants to prove his oft-made and much-challenged assertions that voter fraud isn’t just a risk, but a real and widespread problem. If he fails in court, the state will no longer be able to block voter registrations at driver’s license offices for failing to show such things as birth certificates or passports to prove citizenship. Read More