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The Voting Commission AKA Kobach's Dream To Suppress Voters


GreyhoundFan

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Since it appears that the ridiculous voting commission set up by the Orange Menace is stirring up crap, I thought I'd start a thread for articles and thoughts about the commission and voting. Jennifer Rubin of the WaPo had a great take: "The voting commission is a fraud itself. Shut it down."

Spoiler

The Post reports:

 President Trump’s “election integrity” commission, a source of roiling controversy since its inception, convened [in New Hampshire] Tuesday amid fresh discord over an unfounded assertion by its vice chairman that the result of New Hampshire’s Senate election last year “likely” changed due to voter fraud.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) largely defended an article published Friday in which he pointed to statistics showing that more than 6,000 people had voted in a close election here using out-of-state driver’s licenses to prove their identity. He suggested that was evidence of people taking advantage of New Hampshire’s same-day registration and heading to the Granite State to cast fraudulent votes. . . .

Kobach’s article has been rebuked by election experts and among those who criticized his argument was New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, a fellow commission member and host of Tuesday’s meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. After an organizational gathering in July, the panel is holding several meetings around the country.

Wait a minute. Yes, a partisan politician — did we mention he’s running for governor? — and lawyer who writes for an alt-right publication known for hyperbole, exaggeration and outright falsehoods is simultaneously leading a commission that has set out to find the impossible, namely nonexistent evidence of large-scale voting fraud. In an outrage-filled administration, this ranks near the top of the list.

Kobach’s article was thoroughly debunked when it was revealed that the out-of-state voters were college students and others legally entitled to vote. “The fact that he continues to stand by his laughable Breitbart column after its clear errors were mentioned at the meeting tells you all you need to know about this sham effort,” says Rick Hasen, an election law guru.

Things went from bad to worse on Tuesday when a memo sent by email surfaced to Attorney General Jeff Sessions from Hans von Spakovsky, a controversial member of the panel, that objected to seating Democrats or mainstream Republicans on the commission. Von Spakovsky initially denied seeing the letter (let alone writing it) but was outed when his think tank, the Heritage Foundation, sought to distance itself from a blatantly partisan initiative.

Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center (which obtained the email through a Freedom of Information Act request) and a former Republican chairman of the Federal Election Commission, released a scathing statement, declaring that the Von Spakovsky correspondence should “add to the mounting evidence that the commission has no interest in true bipartisanship or an open discussion of how to solve the real problems in our elections.”

It seems candor is in short supply on the commission. This June, Kobach was lambasted and fined for misleading a court. “The judge wrote that while the court could not say that Kobach ‘flat-out lied,’ the ‘defendant’s statements can be construed as wordplay meant to present a materially inaccurate picture of the documents.'” (A state bar complaint was lodged against him in Kansas, where he holds the job of secretary of state.)

The entire outfit is plainly unserious and unfit to conduct any credible study. Walter Shaub, senior director of ethics at the CLC and former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, tells me: “They’re not even working hard at the pretense of fairly balanced proceedings. It’s clear they’re trying to leverage governmental authority to lend credibility to implausible claims of widespread voter fraud, while downplaying the urgent issue of foreign interference in our elections.”

Kobach’s commission has already been rebuked by a court. In late August, a representative of the commission was chastised by a judge and forced to apologize for failing to comply with open records laws. The Post reported:

[U.S. District Judge Colleen] Kollar-Kotelly said the panel’s after-the-fact argument was “incredible” when it said it did not believe documents prepared by individual commissioners for the July meeting had to have been posted in advance.

“You didn’t completely live up to the government’s representations,” Kollar-Kotelly told Justice Department lawyers at Wednesday’s hearing. “I want to know what things are not going to be covered” by the government’s pledges, she said.

Much as critics of the commission would like nothing better than to mock and berate the commission, exposing the illogical and flimsy arguments it is attempting to advance, it is well past the time to shut down this circus.

We have an entity operating under the auspices of the federal government funded by taxpayer dollars for obvious partisan purposes.

Former Republican ethics counsel Richard Painter tells me, “There’s more than enough evidence of a Hatch Act violation,” referring to the law that prohibits government officials from politicking on the job or using government resources for partisan ends. He notes that while Cabinet officials may get dinged for appearing at a political event, this is “a hundred times worse.”

He argues that a commission dealing with something as serious as voting was flawed from the start. “It’s absolutely critical that these be bipartisan,” Painter says. “If not, they’ll be subject to abuse. And here when you dig down it’s clearly an abuse.”

He is emphatic: “We’ve reached the point where you’re using taxpayer dollars to influence a partisan election.” (He also observes that there are existing, statutorily created entities such as the Federal Election Commission or the Voting Section of the Justice Department that should be doing an investigation and/or putting out recommendations for improvements to the voting system.)

Former Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller says Congress needs to act. “This commission was conceived from a lie — that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in last year’s election — and everything it has done since has been in furtherance of that lie,” he says. “We now know that one of its leading members sees it as a partisan instrument aimed at helping the Republican Party, writing in plain language what has always been obvious. It’s time for Congress to step in and shut this commission down or they own its assault on democracy.”

In short, the commission is a farce. “Instead of addressing the numerous serious issues facing our democracy, the commission met today for a second time to discuss the same tired anecdotes and debunked methodology that it has already decided to use to justify new restrictive voting laws,” Potter said in his statement. “These farcical meetings continue to validate the worst suspicions about the commission: that it is designed to shrink the electorate for partisan advantage.” Hence, the commission should be an easy target for an enterprising litigator seeking a slam-dunk Hatch Act win.

There are lots of links under the spoiler. This whole commission just stinks like a fish that has been left on the counter for a week.

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From the WaPo's editorial board: "Kris Kobach is the real fraud"

Spoiler

NEW HAMPSHIRE is a small state whose biggest residential college and university campuses are dominated by out-of-state students — tens of thousands of them. Under New Hampshire law, they are entitled to vote in state elections, an unremarkable and widely known fact that easily explains why several thousand ballots were cast there last November by voters who registered on Election Day using out-of-state driver’s licenses.

Yet to Kris Kobach, the de facto head of President Trump’s commission on voting integrity, those votes are somehow “proof” that an invading horde of out-of-staters took advantage of the Granite State’s same-day registration law to cast “fraudulent votes.” In fact, there’s no evidence of that.

The real fraud is Mr. Kobach himself, Kansas’s Republican secretary of state and a gubernatorial candidate, who will torture any truth, distort any data and fudge any fact in service to his long-standing goal of suppressing votes, specifically those likely to favor Democrats. Having established himself in his home state as a propagandist, he is now peddling his claptrap on the national stage.

Mr. Kobach has made a political cottage industry of such canards, of which the New Hampshire case is a telling example. His method is to cite real numbers, then draw risible and extravagantly sinister conclusions from them.

In the case of the Granite State, he cites official figures from last fall’s elections, when 6,540 voters registered to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day. Of those voters, more than 80 percent, or 5,313, had neither been issued a New Hampshire license nor registered a car in the state 10 months later.

Aha, says Mr. Kobach, writing at Breitbart, the right-wing website, “now there’s proof” of fraud: “It seems that they never were bona fide residents of the State.”

In fact, when New Hampshire Public Radio examined the data earlier this year, it found that more than two-thirds of 5,900 day-of-election registrants who had out-of-state driver’s licenses lived in college towns, indicating most were students voting perfectly legally. Again, on most of the state’s biggest residential campuses, a majority of students — usually a sizable majority — are from out of state. That’s true at the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, Keene State College, Franklin Pierce University and others.

It’s also true at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., where on Tuesday Mr. Kobach attempted to defend his baseless claim at a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Under fire for his tendentious claims, which he used to cast doubt on the narrow victories in New Hampshire of Hillary Clinton and now-Sen. Maggie Hassan, both Democrats, he said: “Until further research is done, we will never know the answer regarding the legitimacy of this particular election.”

That’s Mr. Kobach at his most insidious, using innuendo, but never actual evidence, to impugn and subvert American democracy.

Kobach needs to go supervise voter registration on the uncharted desert isle we frequently discuss here at FJ.

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@candygirl200413 - I contacted my senators and house rep. I also emailed the board members of my state's board of elections, to ensure they would hold firm against Kobach's demands.

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15 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

From the WaPo's editorial board: "Kris Kobach is the real fraud"

  Reveal hidden contents

NEW HAMPSHIRE is a small state whose biggest residential college and university campuses are dominated by out-of-state students — tens of thousands of them. Under New Hampshire law, they are entitled to vote in state elections, an unremarkable and widely known fact that easily explains why several thousand ballots were cast there last November by voters who registered on Election Day using out-of-state driver’s licenses.

Yet to Kris Kobach, the de facto head of President Trump’s commission on voting integrity, those votes are somehow “proof” that an invading horde of out-of-staters took advantage of the Granite State’s same-day registration law to cast “fraudulent votes.” In fact, there’s no evidence of that.

The real fraud is Mr. Kobach himself, Kansas’s Republican secretary of state and a gubernatorial candidate, who will torture any truth, distort any data and fudge any fact in service to his long-standing goal of suppressing votes, specifically those likely to favor Democrats. Having established himself in his home state as a propagandist, he is now peddling his claptrap on the national stage.

Mr. Kobach has made a political cottage industry of such canards, of which the New Hampshire case is a telling example. His method is to cite real numbers, then draw risible and extravagantly sinister conclusions from them.

In the case of the Granite State, he cites official figures from last fall’s elections, when 6,540 voters registered to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day. Of those voters, more than 80 percent, or 5,313, had neither been issued a New Hampshire license nor registered a car in the state 10 months later.

Aha, says Mr. Kobach, writing at Breitbart, the right-wing website, “now there’s proof” of fraud: “It seems that they never were bona fide residents of the State.”

In fact, when New Hampshire Public Radio examined the data earlier this year, it found that more than two-thirds of 5,900 day-of-election registrants who had out-of-state driver’s licenses lived in college towns, indicating most were students voting perfectly legally. Again, on most of the state’s biggest residential campuses, a majority of students — usually a sizable majority — are from out of state. That’s true at the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, Keene State College, Franklin Pierce University and others.

It’s also true at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., where on Tuesday Mr. Kobach attempted to defend his baseless claim at a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Under fire for his tendentious claims, which he used to cast doubt on the narrow victories in New Hampshire of Hillary Clinton and now-Sen. Maggie Hassan, both Democrats, he said: “Until further research is done, we will never know the answer regarding the legitimacy of this particular election.”

That’s Mr. Kobach at his most insidious, using innuendo, but never actual evidence, to impugn and subvert American democracy.

Kobach needs to go supervise voter registration on the uncharted desert isle we frequently discuss here at FJ.

I admit I don't understand the voting laws in New Hampshire. I fully support everyone who qualifies' ability to vote and if you're away from home, that makes it difficult. I no longer trust absentee ballots. So I'm not sure what the solution is. It does seem that this practice opens the door for nutjobs like Kobach to scream more shit.

What worries me is that he is using this to push a packaged idea that Democrats vote illegally. How does he know who those same-day voters voted for? But there he is stating that the popular vote would have gone to Trump if these votes hadn't counted. Someone needs to call him on this. It scares me because if he gets leverage with some powerful people we could be headed toward the end of secret ballots.

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"Trump’s voter fraud commission proves a magnet for controversy"

Spoiler

As President Trump’s voter fraud commission prepared to convene in New Hampshire this week, it already faced questions about its seriousness of purpose and whether it was a hopelessly biased endeavor.

Then things got worse.

An email surfaced in which the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, one of the commission’s most conservative members, lamented that Trump was appointing Democrats and “mainstream” Republicans to the bipartisan panel.

Its vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), drew rebukes from voting rights advocates — and a couple of fellow commissioners — for an article he wrote for the hard-right Breitbart News website. The article asserted, without proof, that voter fraud had likely changed the result in New Hampshire’s most recent U.S. Senate race.

A third Republican on the panel, J. Christian Adams of Virginia, later feuded on Twitter with a journalist, questioning whether she had lied about her academic credentials. She had not.

The fresh controversies angered some Democratic commissioners already feeling heat from their party for taking part in Trump’s commission, which critics say is really aimed at making it more difficult to vote. Even some Republicans following the commission and sympathetic to its mission said it may now face an even tougher job of selling any recommendations it crafts.

“Let’s just say the execution has been less than perfect,” said Barry Bennett, a campaign adviser to Trump last year. The ongoing “fusses” could make it more difficult for the commission to make its case, Bennett said.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was formed in response to Trump’s baseless claim that millions of illegally cast ballots cost him the popular vote against Hillary Clinton last year. Leading members — including Vice President Pence, who serves nominally as chairman — have nevertheless insisted they launched their work with no preconceived notions and would follow the facts wherever they might lead.

By the end of a seven-hour meeting on Tuesday, some Democratic members of the panel were openly questioning that proposition, saying they had witnessed a one-sided parade of testimony by conservative analysts that overstated the evidence of voting fraud.

“I don’t think we’re going in a productive direction right now,” said Matthew Dunlap, Maine’s secretary of state and one of five Democrats on the 12-member commission. “The panels were dominated by darkness and foreboding.”

Dunlap said in an interview that he was highly offended by von Spakovsky’s email, which was released later in the day by an advocacy group that had unearthed it through a public-records request. The email, which was eventually forwarded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was written in February, as Trump was preparing to make appointments to the panel.

“There isn’t a single Democratic official that will do anything other than obstruct any investigation of voter fraud,” von Spakovsky wrote in the email, relaying that he had just learned that Trump intended to make the panel bipartisan. “That decision alone shows how little the [White House] understands about this issue.”

Von Spakovsky added that “if they are picking mainstream Republican officials and/or academics to man this commission it will be an abject failure.”

Dunlap said van Spakovsky was trying to keep people like him from serving, adding that he is well-respected by legislators in both parties in Maine.

“It really taints Mr. Spakovsky’s participation on the commission,” Dunlap said. “If he had any dignity, he’d step down.”

Through a spokeswoman, von Spakovsky said he “no plans whatsoever” to step down, had written the email to “private individuals” and had no idea it would be forwarded to Sessions or become public. The copy of the email released by the Justice Department redacted the name of the original recipient.

Adams — who has conducted years of research on voting by noncitizens, including in Virginia — said that the widespread opposition to the commission’s work by Democrats was in effect “proving Hans right.”

“Some people don’t want to get to the truth about vulnerabilities in our elections,” he said of the panel, which he also said includes some open-minded Democrats.

For his part, Adams said that he considered the meeting in New Hampshire to be “fantastic” and that it showed there are areas where Republicans and Democrats can “work together to fix vulnerabilities in the election system.”

Democrats are not alone in criticizing the panel.

Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman, said he has not been a fan of the commission from the outset. Its attempts to address voter fraud amount to “taking a bulldozer to a problem that could you could probably use a shovel on,” he said.

“There’s no reason to go down this road and create all these political firestorms,” Steele said.

Kobach’s Breitbart piece ignited one of the firestorms, and the most dramatic moment of this past week’s meeting came when New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, a Democrat on the commission, confronted Kobach about the column.

“You questioned whether our election as we have recorded it is real and valid,” Gardner said to Kobach, “and it is real and valid.”

He added that Kobach’s article was not helpful for a commission trying to convince the public that it had reached no preordained conclusions.

“I hope we all learn from this,” Gardner said. He also relayed that he was resisting calls from his all-Democratic congressional delegation to resign from the commission, saying he considered it his civic duty to continue serving.

Kobach, who has aggressively pursued cases of voter fraud in Kansas, argued in his Breitbart piece that the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire, which was decided by 1,017 votes, “likely” turned on illegally cast ballots. He pointed to state data showing that 5,313 people with out-of-state driver’s licenses registered to vote on Election Day but did not apply later for New Hampshire licenses.

Voting rights advocates say many of those appear to be college students, who are allowed to vote under state law.

“Very somberly, he waves the bloody shirt of voter fraud, and it’s just people complying with the law,” Dunlap said of Kobach. “How does that help his cause?”

Alan King, another Democrat on the commission, said he had misgivings as well about the direction in which his Republican colleagues are moving.

“If we’re just going to parade people through to say what they want them to say, this isn’t a good approach,” said King, a probate judge in Alabama. “This nation deserves a legitimate commission that gives a fair shake to the evidence. If you don’t have that, it’s a total waste of everyone’s time.”

Neither Pence’s office nor Kobach responded to multiple requests for interviews.

The commission had already sparked several controversies, including with a sweeping request to states for voter roll information that even some Republican secretaries of state said was overly broad. A federal judge also recently chastised the commission for not sharing public documents ahead of its organizational meeting.

Several Republicans interviewed for this story suggested that Trump would have been better off tasking the Republican National Committee with looking into voter fraud rather than trying to set up a bipartisan commission operating under government rules.

Doing that would allow the work to go forward without constant questions about the commission’s balance, Bennett said.

“They could still produce a report that could be devastating and remove all these political fusses,” Bennett said.

The executive order establishing the commission says it will issue a report to Trump identifying laws, policies and practices that both enhance and detract from public confidence in voting, and identify weaknesses in voting systems and practices that can lead to fraudulent voting.

The recommendations would be strictly advisory and would be dependent on officials at the state, federal or local levels taking action to implement them.

Regardless of the commission’s ultimate fate, some critics fear that it is making an impact by traveling the country to hold meetings and make local headlines.

Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law — one of several groups that have taken legal action against the commission — said its travels could “plant the seeds for laws and policies” to make voting harder.

“In my view, part of the goal here is to take this parade on the road . . . and use the commission to promote this false narrative,” Clarke said.

Gee, what a surprise, the Repugs would have preferred a Repug-only commission.

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15 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

"Trump’s voter fraud commission proves a magnet for controversy"

  Reveal hidden contents

As President Trump’s voter fraud commission prepared to convene in New Hampshire this week, it already faced questions about its seriousness of purpose and whether it was a hopelessly biased endeavor.

Then things got worse.

An email surfaced in which the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, one of the commission’s most conservative members, lamented that Trump was appointing Democrats and “mainstream” Republicans to the bipartisan panel.

Its vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), drew rebukes from voting rights advocates — and a couple of fellow commissioners — for an article he wrote for the hard-right Breitbart News website. The article asserted, without proof, that voter fraud had likely changed the result in New Hampshire’s most recent U.S. Senate race.

A third Republican on the panel, J. Christian Adams of Virginia, later feuded on Twitter with a journalist, questioning whether she had lied about her academic credentials. She had not.

The fresh controversies angered some Democratic commissioners already feeling heat from their party for taking part in Trump’s commission, which critics say is really aimed at making it more difficult to vote. Even some Republicans following the commission and sympathetic to its mission said it may now face an even tougher job of selling any recommendations it crafts.

“Let’s just say the execution has been less than perfect,” said Barry Bennett, a campaign adviser to Trump last year. The ongoing “fusses” could make it more difficult for the commission to make its case, Bennett said.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was formed in response to Trump’s baseless claim that millions of illegally cast ballots cost him the popular vote against Hillary Clinton last year. Leading members — including Vice President Pence, who serves nominally as chairman — have nevertheless insisted they launched their work with no preconceived notions and would follow the facts wherever they might lead.

By the end of a seven-hour meeting on Tuesday, some Democratic members of the panel were openly questioning that proposition, saying they had witnessed a one-sided parade of testimony by conservative analysts that overstated the evidence of voting fraud.

“I don’t think we’re going in a productive direction right now,” said Matthew Dunlap, Maine’s secretary of state and one of five Democrats on the 12-member commission. “The panels were dominated by darkness and foreboding.”

Dunlap said in an interview that he was highly offended by von Spakovsky’s email, which was released later in the day by an advocacy group that had unearthed it through a public-records request. The email, which was eventually forwarded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was written in February, as Trump was preparing to make appointments to the panel.

“There isn’t a single Democratic official that will do anything other than obstruct any investigation of voter fraud,” von Spakovsky wrote in the email, relaying that he had just learned that Trump intended to make the panel bipartisan. “That decision alone shows how little the [White House] understands about this issue.”

Von Spakovsky added that “if they are picking mainstream Republican officials and/or academics to man this commission it will be an abject failure.”

Dunlap said van Spakovsky was trying to keep people like him from serving, adding that he is well-respected by legislators in both parties in Maine.

“It really taints Mr. Spakovsky’s participation on the commission,” Dunlap said. “If he had any dignity, he’d step down.”

Through a spokeswoman, von Spakovsky said he “no plans whatsoever” to step down, had written the email to “private individuals” and had no idea it would be forwarded to Sessions or become public. The copy of the email released by the Justice Department redacted the name of the original recipient.

Adams — who has conducted years of research on voting by noncitizens, including in Virginia — said that the widespread opposition to the commission’s work by Democrats was in effect “proving Hans right.”

“Some people don’t want to get to the truth about vulnerabilities in our elections,” he said of the panel, which he also said includes some open-minded Democrats.

For his part, Adams said that he considered the meeting in New Hampshire to be “fantastic” and that it showed there are areas where Republicans and Democrats can “work together to fix vulnerabilities in the election system.”

Democrats are not alone in criticizing the panel.

Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman, said he has not been a fan of the commission from the outset. Its attempts to address voter fraud amount to “taking a bulldozer to a problem that could you could probably use a shovel on,” he said.

“There’s no reason to go down this road and create all these political firestorms,” Steele said.

Kobach’s Breitbart piece ignited one of the firestorms, and the most dramatic moment of this past week’s meeting came when New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, a Democrat on the commission, confronted Kobach about the column.

“You questioned whether our election as we have recorded it is real and valid,” Gardner said to Kobach, “and it is real and valid.”

He added that Kobach’s article was not helpful for a commission trying to convince the public that it had reached no preordained conclusions.

“I hope we all learn from this,” Gardner said. He also relayed that he was resisting calls from his all-Democratic congressional delegation to resign from the commission, saying he considered it his civic duty to continue serving.

Kobach, who has aggressively pursued cases of voter fraud in Kansas, argued in his Breitbart piece that the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire, which was decided by 1,017 votes, “likely” turned on illegally cast ballots. He pointed to state data showing that 5,313 people with out-of-state driver’s licenses registered to vote on Election Day but did not apply later for New Hampshire licenses.

Voting rights advocates say many of those appear to be college students, who are allowed to vote under state law.

“Very somberly, he waves the bloody shirt of voter fraud, and it’s just people complying with the law,” Dunlap said of Kobach. “How does that help his cause?”

Alan King, another Democrat on the commission, said he had misgivings as well about the direction in which his Republican colleagues are moving.

“If we’re just going to parade people through to say what they want them to say, this isn’t a good approach,” said King, a probate judge in Alabama. “This nation deserves a legitimate commission that gives a fair shake to the evidence. If you don’t have that, it’s a total waste of everyone’s time.”

Neither Pence’s office nor Kobach responded to multiple requests for interviews.

The commission had already sparked several controversies, including with a sweeping request to states for voter roll information that even some Republican secretaries of state said was overly broad. A federal judge also recently chastised the commission for not sharing public documents ahead of its organizational meeting.

Several Republicans interviewed for this story suggested that Trump would have been better off tasking the Republican National Committee with looking into voter fraud rather than trying to set up a bipartisan commission operating under government rules.

Doing that would allow the work to go forward without constant questions about the commission’s balance, Bennett said.

“They could still produce a report that could be devastating and remove all these political fusses,” Bennett said.

The executive order establishing the commission says it will issue a report to Trump identifying laws, policies and practices that both enhance and detract from public confidence in voting, and identify weaknesses in voting systems and practices that can lead to fraudulent voting.

The recommendations would be strictly advisory and would be dependent on officials at the state, federal or local levels taking action to implement them.

Regardless of the commission’s ultimate fate, some critics fear that it is making an impact by traveling the country to hold meetings and make local headlines.

Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law — one of several groups that have taken legal action against the commission — said its travels could “plant the seeds for laws and policies” to make voting harder.

“In my view, part of the goal here is to take this parade on the road . . . and use the commission to promote this false narrative,” Clarke said.

Gee, what a surprise, the Repugs would have preferred a Repug-only commission.

It's a wonder they think they can do anything with the huge elephants in the room: Mueller's investigation and appalling gerrymandering in some states. But, shhhh, no need to talk about those things.

Once again, Kobach, how do you know who people voted for?

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All I have to say is that I'm proud to exclaim that I didn't vote for Trump, and I felt they want to come after me for that, I'll fight back (legally, not physically). 

As an aside, my mom always taught me it's not polite to ask people who they voted for. Seems Kobach's mom didn't.

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Well, lookee here, maybe Kobach needs to have a chat with this TT nominee: "Trump trade nominee voted in Virginia several months after moving to Maryland"

Spoiler

As President Trump’s controversial commission on voter fraud seeks to gather evidence, it won’t have to look far for some suspicious activity: a ballot cast in last fall’s presidential election in Virginia by Jeffrey Gerrish, Trump’s nominee to be deputy U.S. trade representative.

Gerrish, whose nomination is pending in the Senate, sold a home in Fairfax County, Va., in July 2016 and bought a home in North Bethesda, Md., the same month, according to public records of the sales, which list the Maryland home as Gerrish’s “principal residence.”

Yet Gerrish, a Washington lawyer, voted four months later in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

Gerrish did not return calls or email this week seeking an explanation. Under Virginia law, voting in the state is limited to residents, with some exceptions, including those who move out of the jurisdiction within 30 days of a presidential election.

A senior administration official familiar with Gerrish’s situation said that his family moved to Maryland last summer after living in Virginia more than 18 years. At the time, Gerrish had a Virginia driver’s license and was still registered to vote in Virginia.

Gerrish understood there was a grace period for switching voter registration but did not know the length, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss the issue more freely. Gerrish did not register to vote in Maryland until February, according to state records.

Edgardo Cortes, commission of the Virginia Department of Elections, declined to discuss Gerrish’s case in particular but said defining residency for voting purposes is a “complex issue” that is ultimately decided locally.

Following inquiries by The Washington Post, U.S. trade representative Robert E. Lighthizer released a statement backing Gerrish’s nomination.

“I fully support the nomination of Jeff Gerrish as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative,” Lighthizer said. “He has been practicing international trade law on behalf of American companies for nearly 20 years.  He is one of the foremost experts on U.S. trade law and policy and is preeminently qualified for this position.”

Whatever the exact circumstances surrounding Gerrish’s situation, it’s the kind of case that has drawn attention from members of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the early stages of its work.

But in some situations, what appears on the surface to be fraudulent turns out to have a rather benign explanation.

In January, for example, as Trump was calling for an investigation into his baseless claim that millions of fraudulently cast ballots had cost him the popular vote against Hillary Clinton, it came to light that Stephen K. Bannon, then the White House chief strategist, was registered to vote in both New York and Florida for several months.

That situation persisted even though Bannon had sent a letter trying to get himself removed from the rolls in Florida.

 

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16 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

“He has been practicing international trade law on behalf of American companies for nearly 20 years.

Swamp rat.

As long as this guy didn't vote in both places, well, fine. But it does highlight the ridiculousness of Kobach's attempts to clean up voter fraud, as he likes to say.

It also seems to me that if voting in the presidential election is that important to you, you get your ass in gear and take care of it. Don't know the voter laws in MD but in other places I've lived, the government would like you to transfer your license and vehicle registration within 2-3 months so appropriate tax assessments can be made. With this usually comes the opportunity to register to vote.

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3 minutes ago, GrumpyGran said:

As long as this guy didn't vote in both places, well, fine. But it does highlight the ridiculousness of Kobach's attempts to clean up voter fraud, as he likes to say.

Actually, I disagree. He was no longer a resident of Virginia and hadn't been for months. Maryland votes reliably Democrat, but Virginia is a purple state, so his Repug vote would possibly make more of a difference in Virginia. When you move, unless it's a few weeks before the election, you should vote in your new location. Being registered two places doesn't matter, despite what the TT and Kobach say.

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9 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Actually, I disagree. He was no longer a resident of Virginia and hadn't been for months. Maryland votes reliably Democrat, but Virginia is a purple state, so his Repug vote would possibly make more of a difference in Virginia. When you move, unless it's a few weeks before the election, you should vote in your new location. Being registered two places doesn't matter, despite what the TT and Kobach say.

Oh, I agree, he obviously had plenty of time to register in Maryland so you're probably right, he thought he could have more impact in Virginia. It does seem like what he did was illegal but then again so was:

I voted for my dead husband because I know who he would have wanted as president(Trump)

I was worried democrats would vote twice so I voted twice to offset it.

When a republican votes illegally it's justified. When a democrat votes illegally it threatens our very existence. The mind boggles.

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Kobach is pointing a finger at New Hampshire's election law - but apparently misses that the law in Kansas is similar.  Ooops (courtesy of the Lawrence Journal World)
 

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/sep/24/kobach-criticizes-new-hampshire-election-law-kansa/

Spoiler
Quote

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has used national media to allege that New Hampshire's voting law left that state susceptible to voter fraud. Now, Kansas election officials are quietly acknowledging the same issue that riled Kobach in New Hampshire also exists in Kansas.

What caught Kobach's eye in New Hampshire is that New Hampshire voters were using out-of-state driver’s licenses to prove their identity at New Hampshire polling places, and that many of those voters still hadn’t applied to receive a New Hampshire driver’s license more than 10 months after the election.

Kobach said in a column published on the conservative website Breitbart that the driver’s license issue was evidence of nonresidents of the state committing voter fraud. However, Kansas election officials told the Journal-World that same scenario is legal under Kansas law.

The main difference between the New Hampshire and Kansas law is that Kansas voting officials have done less to publicize their state’s voting provision. Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said he doesn’t often talk about a provision in Kansas law that potentially gives out-of-state residents the ability to vote in Kansas because he doesn’t want people learning how to abuse the system.

“I think a lot of people don’t know this part of the law is present,” Shew said. “I think there are a lot of assumptions because you hear about other states where there are stricter residency rules. It makes me a little nervous about advertising this.”

Honor system

In his Sept. 7 column on Breitbart, Kobach — a Republican who leads President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission — criticized New Hampshire’s voting law because it didn’t take the time to “assess the eligibility of the voter,” and the New Hampshire law allows poll workers to take “the voter at his word” that he or she is a resident of the state who is eligible to vote. New Hampshire has a law that allows voters to register the day of the election. Kansas closes the registration book 21 days in advance of an election, which gives the state more time to assess the qualification of voters.

But when it comes to checking whether voters actually live in the state, it is not clear that Kansas does any more than New Hampshire.

The Journal-World interviewed several Kansas election officials — both Republicans and Democrats — to find out how Kansas’ voting laws compare with the New Hampshire law that Kobach criticized. On the matter of out-of-state driver’s licenses, the issue is clear cut. The Kansas and New Hampshire laws are basically the same.

When voting in Kansas, you are required to show photo identification when getting your ballot. That’s also true in New Hampshire. Most often that is a driver’s license. But Kansas law doesn’t require that it be a Kansas driver’s license, just like New Hampshire’s law doesn’t require a New Hampshire driver’s license.

Kansas law does require people to bring lots of forms of identification to register. Kansas — and Kobach in particular — is a leader in the effort to ensure people who register are U.S. citizens. But those documents — birth certificates, passports, etc. — are only designed to show you are a U.S. citizen. They do nothing to show you are a resident of a state, county or city and thus qualified to vote in those jurisdictions.

People who are registering to vote in Kansas are required to sign an application that states, among other things, that they are residents of Kansas.

But what does it mean to be a resident of Kansas? That is not as straightforward as you may think.

Kansas, like other states, has a provision in its voting law called “intent to return.” It is the part of the law that ensures you don’t become ineligible to vote just because you are not home on voting day. For instance, maybe you are a construction worker staying for weeks at a time at an out-of-state job site. You intend to return to your home, thus you are still eligible to vote there.

But not every example is so simple, and the instructions from Kobach’s office on how to administer the intent to return provision rely largely on taking the word of the voter.

“We’re not really the address police or the residence police,” said Jamie Allen, county clerk of Saline County. “You are swearing that what is on the card is accurate.”

Although the intent to return clause does prove useful in some situations — a retiree who spends part of the year in Kansas and part in Texas, for example — it also opens the door for someone who has no bona fide connection to the state to vote in Kansas, election officials said.

That seems to be the same concern Kobach was expressing about New Hampshire law. The Journal-World has unsuccessfully been seeking an interview with Kobach or a representative for months to discuss the intent to return provision of Kansas voting law. Kobach’s office in recent days said it was working to respond to written questions from the Journal-World, but those responses were not received by the Journal-World’s deadline.

Unasked questions

But how does the intent to return law open the door for someone outside the state to vote in Kansas? Based off information provided by several county clerks, here’s how the intent to return law could be used:

A person fills out the form to register to vote. A Kansas driver’s license is not required.

The address given as the person’s Kansas residence is entered into the voting system. In a few days, the voter should expect to receive a voter card in the mail. The postal system is instructed not to forward that voter card to a new address.

If the county clerk receives the voter card returned as undeliverable, the clerk reaches out to the person, often via phone.

That conversation may reveal that the address was simply written down wrong. But sometimes it reveals that the person doesn’t receive mail at the location because he or she doesn't live at the location. They live somewhere else — perhaps in another state — but they continue to vote in Kansas because they have an “intent to return.”

At this point, you may think the county clerk would ask a few basic questions, such as: Do you own the property? Do you have a lease for the property? Do you have any documents that show you have a connection to that property? The word “return” suggests that the person previously lived at the address, or at least in the jurisdiction in question. But clerks do not attempt to confirm whether that is the case, and the secretary of state has issued no guidance on what the law means by “return.”

Clerks do not ask those questions because Kobach’s office has instructed them they are not relevant. Shew noted that the state used to ask for basic paperwork — deeds, leases, utility bills, etc. — to show that a person had a connection to a particular address. But after Kobach successfully lobbied to have his new voter ID law passed by the Kansas Legislature, he directed election officers to stop asking for those types of documents. Shew still doesn’t know why.

“It makes the law very difficult to administer,” Shew said.

But county clerks make do. They simply take the word of those of people who say they intend to return.

“We’re not the election police,” Sherrie L. Riebel, county clerk for Allen County told the Journal-World earlier this year. “And I don’t have a lie detector test to put them through.”

A ‘hypocrite’

A Douglas County voter fraud case has raised many of the questions surrounding the state’s voter law and its intent to return clause.

The Journal-World reported in February that Lois McGovern and her son, Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern, were being investigated by the secretary of state’s office for possible voting law violations.

Friday afternoon, after months of inquiry by the Journal-World, the secretary of state’s office issued a brief statement on the McGovern case: “After investigating, we concluded there was no criminal intent,” Samantha Poetter, a spokeswoman for Kobach, said.

The brief statement, however, left open the question of whether Kansas’ intent to return clause is so broad that people can use it to say that they intend to return to a home they no longer own and no longer have any legal right to occupy.

That was at issue in the McGovern case. Lois McGovern was registered to vote in the 2016 primary at a Lawrence home that she had sold more than a year before the primary. She had left the home, had no lease on the home and had no legal ability to occupy the home in the future. The McGoverns have acknowledged she was not living at the home. The complainant has alleged — and there is some evidence to suggest — that she was living in a Johnson County nursing home. The sheriff — who like Kobach is a Douglas County Republican — was implicated because he facilitated his mother receiving her ballot in the primary election. He picked the ballot up at the courthouse for her and signed a document listing that his mother was registered to vote at the home she no longer owned or occupied.

But Rep. Vic Miller, D-Topeka — a Kobach critic and the ranking minority member of the House Elections Committee — said the law is clear that people can’t declare that they are going to return to a residence they have no ability to return to.

“That is not the law,” Miller said. “The law is you must have an intent to return, but you still have to prove that you intend to return.”

Miller said if the secretary of state’s office adopts the position that all you have to do is say you are going to intend to return, the law becomes a mockery.

“It is not even a loophole,” Miller said. “It is simply unproveable.”

Shew said he also worries that the law is virtually unenforceable as it currently is being administered.

“Prosecutors say that is impossible to prosecute because the way the law is written they get on the witness stand and say ‘I intended to return at some point,’” Shew said.

Miller, though, said he’s not sure a change in law is needed — just a change in philosophy by the secretary of state. He said the fact that Kobach is criticizing New Hampshire’s law while acting haphazardly in Kansas is telling.

“People need to give more focus about the hypocrite that (Kobach) is,” Miller said. “He is being absolutely a hypocrite.”

Law changes

In a twist, it now appears that New Hampshire is exceeding what Kansas does to ensure people actually are residents of the state before they vote.

David Scanlan, deputy secretary of state in New Hampshire, said lawmakers during the last session passed a new bill that requires people registering to vote to bring in documentation that links them to the address. That includes a lease, a utility bill, or in the case of on-campus college students, a dormitory receipt. If would-be voters can’t produce those documents, they are required to sign an affidavit swearing they will produce those documents in a certain number of days. If they don’t produce those documents, an officer of the state can go to the residence in question to determine if the voter has a connection to the property.

Kansas law does none of that.

It may in the future, though. Rep. Keith Esau, R-Olathe, chair of the House Elections Committee and a GOP candidate for secretary of state, said he does want to further investigate whether Kansas’ voting laws are being properly administered.

“You are giving me some ideas for things that we can look at in the election committee next year,” he said when the New Hampshire law was described to him.

Shew, a Lawrence Democrat, said states easily can go too far in what they require of voters in the registration process. Democrats and the ACLU have howled at Kobach’s provisions related to proving U.S. citizenship.

But he said the idea of a valid voter having his or her vote canceled out by someone who isn’t authorized to vote in an election is an important one. That idea has been a foundation of the argument about ensuring non-U.S. citizens don’t vote. But it equally applies to ensuring a resident of another state isn’t allowed to vote in Kansas or that somebody from one county isn’t allowed to vote in another.

Shew thinks it is a topic lawmakers should discuss.

“I find it kind of interesting,” Shew said. “(Kobach) pointed out that New Hampshire law could have changed their Senate race. Well, our law kind of mimics that, so, we should have that same discussion.”

13

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Speaking of the Voter Suppression King - 

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article181059616.html

Quote

Kobach’s new Breitbart column cites a man linked to Holocaust denial, white supremacy

BY MAX LONDBERG

 

OCTOBER 26, 2017 1:49 PM

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has a new Breitbart column out, and in it he cites a man whom the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a member of the Holocaust denial movement.

Kobach’s article makes the case that immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crimes. He uses a San Francisco murder trial* of an immigrant to launch into an argument that “illegal aliens” comprise a disproportionate share of the U.S. prison population, are behind 53 percent of burglaries in border states, and comprise 75 percent of people on the most wanted lists in L.A., Phoenix and Albuquerque.

His argument has been debunked by numerous studies over multiple years. In fact, studies have found immigrants are lesslikely to commit crimes than people born in the U.S., The New York Times reported.

In one of Kobach’s claims, he links to an article written by Peter Gemma, who also argues that immigrant crime rates are disproportionately high.

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Not directly about the voting commission, but about Kobach: "Kris Kobach’s Office Leaks Last 4 Social Security Digits of Nearly Every Kansas Lawmaker and Thousands of State Employees, Including Kris Kobach"

Spoiler

This is starting to just get sad.

Prior to receiving notice from Gizmodo this morning, Kris Kobach’s office was leaking sensitive information belonging to thousands of state employees, including himself and nearly every member of the Kansas state legislature.

Along with a bevy of personal information contained in documents that, according to a statement on the website, was intended to be public, the Kansas Secretary of State’s website left exposed the last four digits of Social Security numbers (SSN4) belonging to numerous current and former candidates for office, as well as thousands—potentially tens of thousands—of high-ranking state employees at virtually ever Kansas government agency.

The combination of a person’s name and SSN4 creates what’s commonly called “personally identifiable information,” the unauthorized disclosure of which is unlawful under numerous state and federal laws. Putting these statements of substantial interest online without redacting the SSN4 information is beyond reckless; it’s stupid.

While scanning the documents on the public website, Gizmodo found SSN4 information for employees at the Kansas Departments of State, Transportation, Education, Labor, Health and Environment, and Aging and Disability Services; staff members at Kansas State University, Wichita State University, Pittsburg State University, and the University of Kansas; serving members of the Coordinating Council on Early Childhood Development, the Human Rights Commission, the Board of Veterinary Examiners, and the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board; as well as district attorneys, correctional officers, and other law enforcement officials—just to name a few.

Gizmodo notified the Kansas Secretary of State’s office of the exposure on Thursday morning, and the site was taken down within roughly an hour. A request for comment was not returned.

The documents, known as “statements of substantial interests,” are required to be filled out by every state employee of note—legislators, state officers, and members of boards, councils and commissions—and various candidates for office. Under Kansas state law, these individuals are required to disclose any substantial financial interests they have in any businesses or interests held by their spouses.

In the interest of accountability, the information added to those forms is supposed to be public record. But the form itself also includes an “optional” field that asks for the last four digits of the employee’s Social Security number, explicitly for one purpose: to aid the state in properly identifying individuals whose full names may be shared by other state employees.

Gizmodo identified 106,834 such forms on the Kansas government website, though it’s not immediately clear how many contained SSN4 information. A single individual might have multiple forms; some only had one, others had eight. But at least several thousand Kansans are exposed, including Kobach himself and Bryan Caskey, the Kansas director of elections, as well as Kirk Thompson, the director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigations.

... < screenshot >

Based on the overall number of records and what appears to be the average number of records per individual, it is likely that the database contains paperwork on tens of thousands of unique individuals. The records date back to at least 2005, before the substantial interests form was digitized. Paper records from before digitization were also made available for download.

Examining all of the records would likely take weeks, so to get a rough idea of how many of the forms contain SSN4 information, Gizmodo examined paperwork for 165 individuals whose information had been put online by Kobach’s office—specifically, we examined documents on every member of the Kansas state legislature.

It became quickly apparent that counting the number of lawmakers who were not exposed would be far easier than counting those who were: Ninety percent of the Kansas state legislature included SSN4 information on their forms, including 117 out of 125 state representatives and 34 out of 40 state senators. (Previous state lawmakers were also found in the database dating back several years.)

This exposure of personally identifiable information is a stupid and easily avoidable mistake, which has likely gone on for several years. While the site—which is intended for public access—did have a login page, which anyone could use to register a username and password to access the records, doing so was unnecessary. Because of the site’s terrible design, anyone who knew the URL for the search page didn’t need to provide the Secretary of State’s office with any information whatsoever before viewing the forms.

Kobach, the Republican frontrunner in the Kansas gubernatorial election, has been secretary of state since 2011, when it appears the records were first digitized. (It’s difficult to say because some state employees, for whatever reason, have continued submitting paper forms to this day.)

... < form >

Kobach’s office has spent the past few weeks trying to convince the Kansas legislature that it is, in fact, equipped to handle voluminous amounts of sensitive voter records. The interstate Crosscheck program, which is overseen by Kobach’s office, has lost control over voter data—including partial Social Security numbers—on several occasions over the past six months. Most recently, nearly 1000 Kansans were exposed after data amassed for the Crosscheck program was mistakenly leaked in Florida.

Kobach is a notorious exaggerator and recently claimed that the Crosscheck program is absolutely essential to the safeguarding the integrity of the nation’s voter rolls. “If the Crosscheck program were to go away, then we would be unable to catch virtually all of the double voters,” he told the Wichita Eagle, adding: “there are thousands of them across the country.” But truthfully, there are other programs that serve the same purpose, such as the one administered by the Electronic Registration Information Center, which hasn’t suffered any apparent data leaks and is based on a methodology founded by actual data scientists.

Kobach is currently running for governor of Kansas. As part of his campaign, he frequently lobs attacks at the Kansas legislature, claiming as governor he would “drain the swamp” and dispense with a “culture of corruption.” Likely, none of the legislators will be too happy to learn today that the secretary’s office has long put them at risk of identity theft.

Last year, Kobach was named as vice chairman of President Trump’s commission on voter integrity, which was forced to shut down this month amid a flurry of lawsuits, including one brought by one of the panel’s own members, who had claimed that Kobach was concealing information about the commission’s activities from its Democratic members.

Update, 2:18pm: The Kansas Secretary of State’s office sent Gizmodo the following statement, in which it is argued that the sensitive information had to be released by law, but was removed from the website anyway. The office will still release partial Social Security numbers to members of the public if they request it in person.

Under Kansas law, public servants and candidates for state office are required to disclose certain information so the public is aware of any financial interests they hold. This form is called a Statement of Substantial Interest (SSI). The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission has the authority over what information is requested and what is made public. The Kansas Secretary of State’s office is required by statute to make the information requested by the Ethic’s Commission publicly available.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach does not believe that the last four of a person’s social security number should be part of this publicly available information. However currently Kansas law requires the entire SSI to be released. Secretary Kobach has has taken all statements off of the office website. The statements are still available for someone to request in person pursuant to Kansas statute.

Secretary Kobach takes security measures very seriously and is looking for a solution that would allow this sensitive information to be redacted, while still following the rule of law. SSIs are an important tool in ensuring government transparency and any solution should reflect this fact.

Questions regarding the information requested in an SSI should be directed to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

"Kobach is a notorious exaggerator" -- understatement of the millennium.

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  • 4 months later...

Bumping this one because a Judge rejected Kansas Voter law (and ordered Kobach to take classes!)

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article213415624.html

Quote

Judge strikes down Kansas voter law, orders Kobach to take classes

BY JONATHAN SHORMAN AND HUNTER WOODALL

jshorman@wichitaeagle.com

hwoodall@kcstar.com

June 18, 2018 05:15 PM

Updated 1 hour 8 minutes ago

TOPEKA 

A federal judge has struck down a Kansas voter citizenship law that Secretary of State Kris Kobach had personally defended.

Judge Julie Robinson also ordered Kobach, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, to take more hours of continuing legal education after he was found in contempt and was frequently chided during the trial over missteps.

In an 118-page ruling Monday, Robinson ordered a halt to the state’s requirement that people provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The decision holds the potential to make registration easier as the August and November elections approach.

Robinson’s ruling amounted to a takedown of the law that Kobach had championed and lawmakers approved several years ago. She found that it “disproportionately impacts duly qualified registration applicants, while only nominally preventing noncitizen voter registration.”

“If eligible Kansans’ votes are not counted despite believing they are registered to vote, it erodes confidence in the electoral system,” Robinson wrote.

She ordered Kobach not to enforce the proof of citizenship law and its accompanying regulations.

Kobach's office said he will appeal the ruling. "Judge Robinson is the first judge in the country to come to the extreme conclusion that requiring a voter to prove his citizenship is unconstitutional. Her conclusion is incorrect, and it is inconsistent with precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court," his office said in a statement.

At trial, Kobach said the law was working. Since 2000, 129 non-citizens have either registered or attempted to register. Many of them were blocked from registering by the proof of citizenship law, he said.
 

"The 129 is just the tip of the iceberg…we know the iceberg is much larger," he said.

The ruling is the culmination of a federal lawsuit filed in 2016. At a bench trial earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union and attorney Mark Johnson represented voters who said they had been impeded from registering by the law.

“This decision is a stinging rebuke of Kris Kobach, and the centerpiece of his voter suppression efforts: a show-me-your-papers law that has disenfranchised tens of thousands of Kansans. That law was based on a xenophobic lie that noncitizens are engaged in rampant elections fraud," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, the vice-chairman of the Senate’s election committee, defended the proof of citizenship requirement. The Leavenworth Republican is running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District.

“I think that it is clear that certain members of the press and the judiciary are absolutely opposed to Secretary Kobach’s attempt to defend the integrity of our elections,” Fitzgerald said.

Under the ruling, Kobach must instruct all state and county election officers that voter registration applicants do not need to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. Registrants who have not provided proof of citizenship must be listed the same as all other registrants.
 

Robinson rejected Kobach’s argument that the law was needed to prohibit voter fraud. She said of the tens of thousands of people whose voter registrations have been canceled or suspended because of a lack of proof of citizenship, less than 1 percent have been confirmed to be non-citizens.

Instead of helping to block voter fraud, the law “acted as a deterrent to registration and voting for substantially more eligible Kansans than it has prevented ineligible voters from registering to vote,” she wrote.

The ruling was also a slap against Kobach as an attorney. Robinson wrote Kobach had a “well-documented history of avoiding this Court’s orders.” She repeatedly criticized Kobach’s conduct in court, noting that at least once he tried to introduce evidence despite Robinson having excluded it.

She also wrote that Kobach failed to disclose documents, and she faulted misleading testimony by one of his witnesses.

Kobach was previously fined $1,000 in the case and held in contempt.

“I have a very difficult understanding why someone with Kris Kobach’s educational pedigree can make such poor judgments repeatedly,” Rep. John Carmichael, D-Wichita, said after Monday’s ruling.

Rep. Jack Thimesch, R-Spivey, defended Kobach in the wake of the ruling, citing his familiarity with Kobach from his time sitting on the House elections committee. He also supports the proof of citizenship requirement.

“It needs to be there,” he said of the proof of citizenship requirement. 
 

Robinson concluded her ruling by ordering Kobach to take six additional hours of continuing legal education in addition to any other hours required for a law license.

“The additional CLE must pertain to federal or Kansas civil rules of procedure or evidence,” Robinson wrote.

 

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ACLU isn't done with him.  

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/jun/19/aclu-sues-kobach-over-interstate-crosscheck-voter-/

Quote

ACLU sues Kobach over interstate Crosscheck voter database

J

By Peter Hancock

June 19, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed another lawsuit against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, this time over a computer database used to purge the voter registrations of people suspected of having moved across state lines.

The class action lawsuit alleges that Kobach’s office has violated the privacy rights of individual voters by sharing sensitive information included in their voter registration information through unsecured emails with Florida election officials who later released the information publicly in response to open records requests.

The plaintiffs are seeking a court order to halt Kansas’ participation in the system until adequate security measures are put in place.

The suit was filed in federal district court one day after a federal judge in the same courthouse struck down Kobach’s signature legislative accomplishment in Kansas, a law requiring new voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register.

The Crosscheck program was actually begun in 2005 by one of Kobach’s predecessors, former Republican Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, as a cooperative effort by election officials in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. But it was greatly expanded under Kobach’s administration to include many more states. The program is managed entirely by the state of Kansas.

It is intended to identify so-called “dual registrants,” people who have moved across state lines and registered to vote in their new state without canceling their voter registration in their old state. The system uses a number of points of comparison, including voters’ middle initials, dates of birth, signatures, and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.

But it came under widespread public criticism in recent months after ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative journalism site, published a report in October showing the system is plagued with security issues and that it produces “false positive” matches at an alarmingly high rate.

The ACLU also cites an academic study showing that matches identified by the Crosscheck system are inaccurate more than 99 percent of the time.

Photo by Peter Hancock

Johnson County resident Scott Moore explains how sensitive personal information from his voter registration was made public by Florida officials using an interstate voter registration database known as Crosscheck, which is managed by the Kansas Secretary of State's office. Moore, pictured Tuesday, June 19, 2018, is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to block Kansas from using that system until adequate security measures are put in place.

The Kansas lawsuit specifically names three individuals whose information was shared with Florida election officials in 2013. Florida officials later made the information public in 2017 when the state of Florida released the information in response to an open records request, the suit alleges. Those plaintiffs include Johnson County resident Scott Moore; and Shawnee County residents James Long and Nancy Perry.

All three of the plaintiffs share common names and dates of birth with voters in Florida, but none has ever registered to vote in that state.

Crosscheck also has come under challenge in several states in recent months, most recently in Indiana, where a federal judge earlier this month blocked that state from implementing a new law requiring officials to purge voters from the registration rolls if their names appeared on the Crosscheck database.

Kobach touted the program nationally when he served as vice chairman of President Donald Trump’s short-lived Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. That commission attempted to bring all 50 states into the program by demanding that they share their voter registration databases, but several states refused.

 

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      I've just realized how long I've been on FJ.  Holy cow.
      · 0 replies
    • bea

      bea

      Had ankle surgery on the 22nd and am non-weight-bearing until the 7th, and it would great if I could REMEMBER that I'm not weight-bearing until I try to step on my splinted ankle.
      · 2 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      lol 

      · 0 replies
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