Kansas Secretary of State Kobach wants to purge 30,0000 voters because he can

When Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach took office in 2013, he immediately advocated for a law requiring proof of citizenship to vote, even though you aren’t allowed to make such a requirement for federal elections. That law was passed, and Kansas now has two voter registration forms; one state and one federal. The state also maintains a “suspended voter” list of voters who are unable to prove their citizenship.

Kobach has since done everything in his power to prosecute all of the kinds of voter fraud that don’t actually happen in Kansas, while doing everything in his power to ignore the kinds of fraud that could benefit Republicans.

An analysis of Kobach’s suspended voter list has found that practically none of the people on the list could be confirmed as non-citizens, but Kobach now wants to change state regulations to allow him to purge anyone who has been on the list for more than 90 days from the voter rolls.

There is only one confirmed case of a non-citizen registering to vote in Kansas, and she did so by mistake: After signing up for a temporary drivers license, she was asked if she would like to register to vote. According to Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston, “She felt that she was doing what she was supposed to do.”

Currently, the “suspended voter” list stands at over 30,000 people, many of whom are lower-income, minority or elderly voters who do not have drivers licenses. For many of those voters, it can take more than 90 days to pull together the necessary documentation — a birth certificate, U.S. Passport or naturalization papers — in order to prove citizenship. From ThinkProgress:

Currently, voters can provide the required documents up until Election Day, but Kobach wants to change that. He told a Kansas newspaper the proposal is intended to save election officials time and money and cut down on reminders they send voters to submit their citizenship documents.

Kris Kobach, via Wikimedia Commons

Kris Kobach, via Wikimedia Commons

Purging these people from the rolls does nothing to push back against voter fraud, as their registration status is already considered incomplete and they already aren’t allowed to vote in state elections. Kobach’s justification for purging them — that sending reminders to suspended voters is costing the state too much time and money — smacks of laziness given a bureaucratic problem of Kobach’s own making.

Given Kobach’s self-professed care for the right to vote — that’s what his voter fraud crusade has been all about — it doesn’t make any sense for him to wantonly discard the registration forms of tens of thousands of almost-certainly citizens just because they’re a hassle for his staff.

Well, it does make sense: Kobach isn’t anti-voter fraud; he’s just anti-voting. But we knew that already.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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12 Responses to “Kansas Secretary of State Kobach wants to purge 30,0000 voters because he can”

  1. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is Orwellian talker; says look here ‘Voter Fraud’ when in reality
    this is how election fraud works. To quote Jonathan Simon author of Code RED on how this corrupt Election system works; Simon said: “You got to pull out all the stops. You got to have gerrymandering, you got to have voter suppression, you got to make those vote on Wednesday robo calls. Flood the system with all kinds of dark money and cooperate cash. And then, if you’re lucky, you brought things in what I call stuff nose smell test rigging distance. It can pass the stuff nose smell test, for when we get these shocking results, there not quite so shocking because they already narrowed the gap with all these overt techniques and schemes.”

    Kobach is a wing-nut that believes in what Paul Weyrich, “father” of the right-wing movement and
    co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority and various other groups tells his flock that he doesn’t want people to vote. He complains that fellow Christians have “Goo-Goo Syndrome”:
    Good Government. Link to Classic clip from 1980: https://youtu.be/8GBAsFwPglw
    “Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome — good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

  2. zerosumgame0005 says:

    not only that, 99% of people who cite have no clue what it really says

  3. ComradeRutherford says:

    Conservatives know that if every citizen can vote, they’ll never win another election. The only way for Conservatives to stay in power is to prevent American Citizens from voting if they might not vote Conservative.

  4. BeccaM says:

    I’d bet a sawbuck none of them have any clue whatsoever as to the actual historic definition of the term ‘fascism.’

  5. Jon Green says:

    I got spammed by some actual fascists on Twitter yesterday and hooooooboy.

  6. BeccaM says:

    ‘Autocratic dictatorship’ also works. Republicans have made it very clear for many years now that they only like the idea of democracy when they win ALL of the elections.

    Rig the ballot counting machines, rig voter eligibility, use computers to gerrymander so your lack of voter plurality doesn’t matter, and always target for disqualification those voters who are statistically not likely to vote for you.

    What hasn’t seemed to happen is for people to realize this shit has been a deliberate and systematic ‘slow coup’ against the nation.

  7. Indigo says:

    All you need to say is “Republican” and you’ve said it all.

  8. Demosthenes says:

    For Immediate Release
    August 13, 2015

    Kansas Secretary of State Kobach announces a new “voter protection” initiative. Effective in November, 2016, only white male property owners over 21 years old can vote in nonFederal elections. According to Mr. Kobach: “we need to restore voting to its original pure form as the Founding Fathers intended in 1789”.

  9. nicho says:

    Godwin’s Law was a joke that everyone takes way too seriously.

  10. Gary Harmer says:

    Kobach should be purged! And then hung for treason…

  11. ihazconservative says:

    “Fascist” is okay, just not you-know-what.

  12. 2karmanot says:

    Can we say ‘fascist’ now, or is that too Godwin’s Law?

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