Nativist Kris Kobach is on the march against phantom voters casting phantom ballots yet again.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach – the mastermind behind anti-immigrant and voter suppression legislation throughout the country – joined radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday at an event hosted by the anti-immigrant group FAIR, where he currently holds a top legal position.
Kobach has been on a media blitz recently defending Kansas’ strict voter ID law, which requires people registering to vote to present a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, a requirement that has left tens of thousands of Kansans with incomplete registrations .
Kaufman, who is based in Florida, told Kobach, “I can’t imagine how many widows are voting for their dead husbands.”
“Yeah, it happens all the time,” Kobach replied, going on to explain that people who die or move out of state often stay on a state’s voter rolls.
Kobach’s conflation of out-of-date voter rolls with fraudulent voting is common among advocates of voter suppression laws. While fraudulent voting is extraordinarily rare – including in Kansas – Kobach has used the threat of such fraud to push faulty voter roll purges in states across the country.
Yes, I'm imagining little old ladies in Florida sneaking to the polls to cast a vote in their dead husband's name, aren't you? And as RWW says, names on voter rolls don't mean anything unless someone actually shows up and tries to vote with them, which happens almost never.
Kobach is on a publicity tour after the ACLU lawsuit against him was returned to a lower court for consideration. The subject of the lawsuit was, of course, voting rights. As much as Kobach wants to downplay the impact of Voter ID on people, it really does matter:
The Kansas proof-of-citizenship law took effect last year. Kobach argues that it combats fraud by preventing noncitizens from voting. Relatively few cases of potential voter fraud have been reported over the last decade, and critics argue that the law suppresses turnout. As of Tuesday, about 16,100 Kansas residents’ registrations were on hold because they hadn’t yet provided citizenship papers.