Kris Kobach was held in contempt by a federal judge for misleading his state's voters. He's still misleading them.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was dealt a humiliating blow in federal court last month over his voter suppression antics relating to an illegal proof-of-citizenship voting law.
But he seems to have learned little from the experience. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), he is still falsely telling voters on his website that they must prove their citizenship to register to vote.
As the Huffington Post reports, the ACLU has sent Kobach a letter demanding he “correct information on his website that gave the incorrect impression that everyone, regardless of how they register to vote, must prove they’re a citizen.”
Over the years, Kobach — who is now seeking the GOP nomination for governor — has been one of the GOP’s most prominent crusaders against the fictional epidemic of “voter fraud” supposedly necessitating strict controls on ballot access.
He lobbied the Kansas legislature to give him his own team of prosecutors to root out illegal voting, which was a complete failure. He created the Interstate Crosscheck System to purge voting rolls, which states are now dumping because it is ineffective and a security risk. And he co-chaired Mike Pence’s “election integrity commission,” which disbanded amid bipartisan rejection from states and a lawsuit from one of its own members.
But it was the proof-of-citizenship law, and his ongoing, stubborn disregard for the rights of his electorate in the face of criticism from courts, that landed Kobach in trouble.
The law, which required burdensome supporting documentation, prevented some 36,000 Kansans from even registering to vote — and was partially blocked in 2016 by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson for violating the National Voter Registration Act.
But Kobach failed to comply with Judge Robinson’s orders to give relief to people illegally blocked under the law, culminating in a lawsuit by the ACLU that publicly demolished his anti-voting agenda.
Confronted both by Judge Robinson and top ACLU voting rights attorney David Ho, Kobach’s expert witnesses could not name a single case of an election swayed by voter fraud, and Kobach had to be repeatedly reprimanded for violating trial procedure.
For Kobach to continue to mislead his voters about their rights — at a time where he is facing federal penalties for doing exactly that — is incredible.
It is time for him to face the consequences of his behavior, and do his job.