On Wednesday, the task force known as the Election Integrity Commission met for the first time. Despite their claims of having no preconceived agenda, we know their end goals are clear: to perpetuate unsubstantiated myths of widespread voter fraud and to lay groundwork to suppress voting rights. Unfortunately, they might already be succeeding. Since commission vice-chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach requested personal voter information from all 50 states, we have seen thousands of voters cancel their registration. Kobach’s request for private information — including Social Security numbers, party affiliation and voter history — is not even legal in his own home state. And although many secretaries of state have rejected the over-reaching request, many Americans are unsettled. And that’s exactly what he wants.
Kobach has devoted his career to using false claims of voting fraud to suppress voters. Kobach has been brought to court — and lost — several times for suppressing the constitutional rights of citizens to vote in his home state of Kansas. Most recently, Kobach was fined by a federal magistrate judge for “patently misleading representations to the court.”
The League of Women Voters is no stranger to Kris Kobach’s suppressive efforts.
In 2013 the League joined as defendants in the case Kobach, et al v. U.S. Election Assistance Commission. In this case Kobach was seeking to enforce requirements on Arizona and Kansas voters to provide documentary proof of citizenship in mail-in voter registration application forms. Ultimately, the court found that these barriers were illegal.