You probably remember Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas, who ran around screaming about voter fraud and implemented the harshest voter identification laws in the nation. To vote in Kansas, you have to provide a valid driver’s license, your first-born son, a vial of blood, your latest Starbuck’s cup with your name on it, your iPhone passcode and your latest Facebook profile pic.
BUT we had to have voter identification laws, because voter fraud in Kansas is a very serious problem according to Kris Kobach. It was such a serious problem that Kobach wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 outlining his case. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704816604576333650886790480
From the article,
Evidence of voter fraud is present in all 50 states, and public confidence in the integrity of elections is at an all-time low. In the Cooperative Congressional Election Study of 2008, 62% of American voters thought that voter fraud was very common or somewhat common.
Ahhh yes, integrity of the elections is in question by the American public. How about the integrity of our politicians? That’s what leads us to the latest discovery this week about good, old Kris Kobach. See it turns out that there actually hasn’t been one case of voter fraud reported by Kris Kobach in four and half years. That’s right – zero, zip, nada, zippo. Not one.
Read this baby from MSNBC:
During last year’s election, the Kansas Secretary of State chastised U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, complaining to the media that Kobach’s office had referred examples of voter fraud to the Kansas-based federal prosecutor, but Grissom has refused to prosecute. Worse, Kobach said the U.S. Attorney didn’t “know what he’s talking about” when Grissom said voter fraud doesn’t exist in Kansas.
The AP reports today that when Kobach made these claims, he appears to have been brazenly lying (thanks to my colleague Tricia McKinney for the heads-up).
[I]n a Nov. 6 letter sent from Grissom to Kobach and obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request, the prosecutor responded that his office received no such referrals from Kobach, and chided the secretary of state for his statements.
“Going forward, if your office determines there has been an act of voter fraud please forward the matter to me for investigation and prosecution,” Grissom wrote. “Until then, so we can avoid misstatements of facts for the future, for the record, we have received no voter fraud cases from your office in over four and a half years. And, I can assure you, I do know what I’m talking about.”
Wait, it gets worse.
Kobach now concedes that when he said he’d referred voter-fraud cases to the U.S. Attorney’s office, he had not, in reality, referred voter-fraud cases to the U.S. Attorney’s office. But, the right-wing official told the AP, Kobach’s predecessor had alerted the federal prosecutor to two relevant cases and Grissom ignored those referrals.
It turns out, that’s not true, either: federal investigators looked into those 2011 allegations and, as the AP report noted, they concluded they were not voter fraud.
Here’s what makes this story absolutely horrible. When the vote id law came out, some minority church leaders came out against this saying the new law was unfairly targeting minorities and poor people. The new law would disenfranchise certain voters. 17,000 voting privileges were suspended due to this new strict voting law. In response, Kris Kobach said this,
“I don’t know what churches — and I would put churches in quotation marks — because the vast majority of church leaders I’ve spoken to are fully in favor of our photo ID law,” Kobach said.
Put churches in quotation marks? Here’s a fine idea. You should spend Sundays going to church. You might learn about this thing called lying. God doesn’t look too fondly on people who lie. You lied about cases of voter fraud. You made people believe that election fraud was a big enough issue to pass voter i.d. laws. You fixed a problem that never really existed and now good people can’t vote. That is a shame.
I’m not worried about election integrity and more worried about the integrity of the politicians that we elect.
Yours for fixing problems that actually exist,