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.
Dale Ho, the lead attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in the case, poked holes in these claims during his closing arguments Monday.
He pointed out that Kobach’s evidence from Sedgwick County shows that only 18 non-citizens registered going back to 1999 and only five of them ever voted compared to millions of ballots cast in the county during that timeframe.
“The iceberg on close inspection, your honor, it’s more of an ice cube,” Ho told U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson. “There’s no evidence that it’s in the thousands as Secretary Kobach has asserted.”