Kobach Loses Badly in Court Over Fake Voter Fraud Claims

Kobach Loses Badly in Court Over Fake Voter Fraud Claims June 21, 2018

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who chaired Trump’s short-lived fraudulent voter fraud commission, got absolutely taken to the cleaners in a federal court case in which he tried to defend a law that disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters to stop non-existent voter fraud.

He was already sanction by the court for contempt after failing to turn over evidence he was ordered to turn over, but now the case has ended and the judge pretty much read him the riot act for his dishonest claims about voter fraud.

On Monday, the chief of the U.S. District Court in Kansas, Judge Julie A. Robinson, popped the bubble of Kobach’s obsession. She ruled, after a lengthy trial, that Kobach, Kansas’s secretary of state, produced no credible support for his theory that large numbers of noncitizens are illegally voting in American elections. Thus, the Kobach-inspired law requiring Kansas voters to provide documentary proof of citizenship is ­unconstitutional because it imposes the burden without a reasonable ­justification.

“At most, 67 noncitizens registered or attempted to register in Kansas over the last 19 years,” the judge found. Of those, only 39, at most, actually ended up on voter rolls, put there largely by clerical mistakes, not fraud. They went to the motor vehicles department for a driver’s license and accidentally registered to vote. “Some applicants told the . . . clerk that they were not citizens, yet the clerk completed a voter registration application” anyway.

“Given the almost 2 million individuals on the Kansas voter rolls, some administrative anomalies are expected,” the judge continued. After all, the Kansas rolls indicate that 100 voters were born in the 1800s — highly unlikely given the scarcity of 120-year-old Kansans. For that matter, human errors have recorded 400 Kansas voters as having birth dates subsequent to their dates of registration.

This is what Republicans always do, they take any tiny anomaly between different databases — a clerical error, misspelling, missing apartment number, missing middle initial, that kind of routine thing — and claim that each and every one of them is a potential act of voter fraud, which then is immediately assumed to be an actual act of voter fraud. But virtually never is that true. At the very most, as the ruling notes, he could document 67 cases of people being registered when they weren’t eligible, and not because they wanted to commit voter fraud but because clerks automatically registered them when they went for a drivers license. And that’s over two decades. Compared to two million registered voters in the state. When it comes to voter fraud, there’s just no there there. It is virtually non-existent.

The judge said that Kobach “insists that these numbers are just ‘the tip of the iceberg.’ This trial was his opportunity to produce credible evidence of that iceberg, but he failed to do so. The Court draws the more obvious conclusion that there is no iceberg; only an icicle.” More like a single ice cube in an ocean the size of the Atlantic. You can read the full ruling here.

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