Right wing mythology is full of tales of voter fraud. Recently Kris Kobach has been running around peddling a tale that is voter fraud. Let’s explore.
First, a little background on Kobach; he is the current Republican Secretary of State and a gubernatorial candidate in Kansas. He has built a large extreme right wing following by authoring many of the anti-immigrant and voter suppression laws that ALEC has given to red state legislators.
Earlier this year President Trump named Kobach to effectively head his Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity. In other words prove that Trump really won the popular vote in 2016 along with suppressing enough votes in future elections to insure Trump and far right wing Republicans success.
The reality is that despite right wing mythology to the contrary, in person voter fraud is close to non-existent and has not affected the outcome of an American election in decades. Trump has charged Kobach with the task of trying to prove a lie. Kobach is probably the best equipped person in America for this particular task.
In September Kobach unveiled what he portrayed as indisputable proof of massive voter fraud in New Hampshire which stole the state’s electoral votes from Trump and the Senate seat from Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte. His “proof” was that 6,500 people registered and voted in the November 2016 election using an out of state driver’s license as proof of identity as is allowed under New Hampshire law. Several months later over 5,300 of them still didn’t have a New Hampshire driver’s license. To Kobach (and many of his low information, far right wing followers) that was clear proof of out of state voters fraudulently voting in New Hampshire.
Fact checkers made quick work of disproving that conclusion. New Hampshire law allows people domiciled in New Hampshire to vote in the state. New Hampshire residents are required to have a New Hampshire driver’s license shortly after permanently moving to the Granite State. Of the 5,300+ in question 5,900 live in college towns. If a youngster from let’s say Kansas is attending Dartmouth College they are domiciled in New Hampshire in the fall but their legal residence remains and they have their driver’s license from Kansas.
College student also present a somewhat special case which I’m certain Kobach is well aware of. In 1979 the Supreme Court upheld the right of college student to vote in either their home state or the state they were attending school in in their decision in Symm v United States. It is worth noting that the genesis of Symm was an attempt at voter suppression against an almost exclusively African-American (and presumably Democratic leaning) student body.
Mr. Kobach has had the benefit of a superior education – including a Yale Law degree – so I can only assume he is not stupid. That leaves me to conclude that he thinks the American public is stupid, he is evil or both. I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.
If either Kobach or Trump were truly interested in the integrity of our elections they would pursue (other than in a whitewash) an investigation of last weekend’s revelation that 21 states’ elections systems were the target of hacking attempts (some successfully) in 2016. That in addition to other foreign attempts to influence American voters appears to be fertile ground for attempts at undermining the integrity of our election and by extension our democracy.
The Uniform Commercial Code defines fraud as the deliberate misrepresentation of a material fact with the intent to deceive. There is voter fraud in America and one of its names is Kris Kobach!
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