Don’t be a dupe
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach thinks you are an easy dupe, as former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler once did.
Kobach, who is serving as vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, is trying to sell voters on the profound lie that the nation’s election system is fraught with fraud.
What is really happening here is exactly what Gessler tried to do when he was elected six years ago: scare up the patriotic vote and suppress minority voter turnout to effect a particular political outcome.
At the time, Gessler claimed under oath and before Congress that Colorado had more than 16,000 registered noncitizen voters, and that 5,000 of them had actually cast ballots in the 2010 election.
As everyone now knows, that turned out to be complete and utter horse hockey.
After repeated requests from the state’s county clerks for actual names, by the time he left office Gessler was only able to identify 155 such people, most of whom turned out to be eligible voters and only one of whom came close to being prosecuted for voter fraud.
Kobach’s claim that at least a million noncitizens voted in the 2016 election nationwide, like President Donald Trump’s claim of voter fraud, has no basis in fact. Trump responded to repeated requests to back up his claim that as many as five million people had illegally cast ballots in the election — all against him, of course — by forming this bogus commission.
Funny. The president is so willing to insist there is widespread voter fraud among his fellow Americans when no evidence actually exists, but isn’t any longer willing to acknowledge Russian interference in the same election, where evidence does exist.
But we digress. It’s Kobach we’re most interested in at the moment.
In case you haven’t heard by now, in McCarthyism fashion Kobach and his sham commission have sent letters to all 50 states requesting information on all voters in America. Specifically, they want the full first and last names of all registered voters, middle names or initials, dates of birth, political parties, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, and voter history for each election since 2006.
The request doesn’t stop there. They also want their active or inactive voter status, and information regarding felony convictions, voter registration in other states, military status and whether they have duel citizenship in other nations.
At least 20 states have already told Kobach where he can go. Others have said they will give them some information, but only if the federal government pays for it as everyone else does when making such requests.
Some states, including Kansas, have told Kobach they won’t release Social Security numbers, and still others, such as Colorado, have provided the commission only with that information that is legally available, which is entirely appropriate. (As an aside, we applaud Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams for turning over only that data that is legally releasable, and dismiss as politically opportunistic calls from some that he should have turned his back to the commission’s request entirely.)
Kobach says that one of the things the commission will do is compare legal resident databases from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with each state’s voter rolls. If they actually do so and the numbers turn out to be nonexistent or so low as to be statistically insignificant, we wonder if the commission will release that information and end this farcical political tactic once and for all.
We doubt it. How else can they keep this democracy-undermining fear alive until the next presidential election?