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Judge Smacks Down Kris Kobach's Right-Wing Voter Fraud Lies

The ACLU won; Kobach lost. And the biggest losers were the right-wing voter fraud machine selling snake oil.
Judge Smacks Down Kris Kobach's Right-Wing Voter Fraud Lies

Let's take a victory lap for a Big Win against the Voter Fraud forces rampant in the land. Today the court ruled that Kris Kobach's voter fraud nonsense was just that: Nonsense.

Professor Rick Hasen tells us that not only did Kobach lose, so too did the Great Voter Fraud Machine, including fraudsters Hans Von Spakovsky and 'Professor' Jesse Richman:

The judge rejected really questionable evidence put forward by Kansas and its experts about the extent of noncitizen voter registration. Below I have some quotes rejecting the key testimony of charlatan Hans von Spakovsky and Professor Jesse Richman. But the bottom line is the court found Kansas put forward no evidence of a “substantial” amount of noncitizen voter registration to justify the requirement that people provide documentary proof of citizenship before they can vote in federal elections. Here is the key conclusion on that point:

For the reasons already explained, the Court finds no credible evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote under the attestation regime. The only information about Kansas registration rates relied upon by Mr. von Spakovsky was provided to him by Mr Caskey, and the Court has already evaluated that underlying data in more detail than Mr. vo Spakovsky, who simply accepted the numbers as true. His generalized opinions about the rate of noncitizen registration were likewise based on misleading evidence, and largely based on hi preconceived beliefs about this issue, which has led to his aggressive public advocacy of strict proof of citizenship laws. The Court likewise does not find Dr. Richman’s opinion as to the numbers of noncitizen registration carry weight given the numerous methodological flaws set forth in the Court’s findings of fact.
That leaves Defendant’s empirical evidence of noncitizen registration. He has submitted evidence of 129 instances of noncitizen registration or attempted registration since 1999, bu looking closely at those records reduces that number to 67 at most. Even these 67 instances are liberal estimate because it includes attempted registrations after the DPOC law was passed, a larger universe than what the Tenth Circuit asked the Court to evaluate. Only 39 successfully registered to vote. And several of the individual records of those who registered or attempted to register show errors on the part of State employees, and/or confusion on the part of applicants. They do not evidence intentional fraud…. Moreover, the Court is unable to find empirical evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens successfully registered to vote under the attestation regime….


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Defendant insists that these numbers are just “the tip of the iceberg.” This trial was his opportunity to produce credible evidence of that iceberg, but he failed to do so. The Court will not rely on extrapolated numbers from tiny sample sizes and otherwise flawed data.

Professor Hasen was kind enough to grab some of the quote about Hans Von Spakovsky in particular, who has been the recipient of wingnut welfare simply because he was unafraid to make stories up to support the claims of voter fraud.

“The Court gives little weight to Mr. von Spakovsky’s opinion and report because they are premised on several misleading and unsupported examples of noncitizen voter registration, mostly outside the State of Kansas. His myriad misleading statements, coupled with his publicly stated preordained opinions about this subject matter, convinces the Court that Mr. von Spakovsky testified as an advocate and not as an objective expert witness…. Mr. von Spakovsky wrote an editorial in 2011, alleging that 50 noncitizens from Somalia voted in an election in Missouri. Yet, nearly one year earlier, the Missouri Court of Appeals issued an opinion, Royster v. Rizzo, affirming the trial court’s finding that no fraud had taken place in that Missouri election. While he testified that he was not aware of the court opinion at the time he wrote the op-ed, Mr. von Spakovsky admitted that he never published a written retraction of his assertion about Somalian voters illegally participating in that election. The record is replete with further evidence of Mr. von Spakovsky’s bias. Dr. Minnite testified to, and Mr. von Spakovsky’s CV demonstrates, his longtime advocacy of voting restrictions….As stated above, the Court gives little weight to Mr. von Spakovsky’s opinions. While his lack of academic background is not fatal to his credibility in this matter, the lack of academic rigor in his report, in conjunction with his clear agenda and misleading statements, render his opinions unpersuasive.”

I'm sure somewhere in Texas, Cathy Engelbrecht (True the Vote) is weeping too. This victory was decisive, there was no doubt about which party won. Kobach could not get away with inventing tales of voter fraud, but instead had to prove it. He could not.

And to add insult to injury, the judge ordered him to go back to school to learn the Rules of Federal Procedure and Evidence, since he clearly did not know them in the course of the trial.

In these dark days, a win is a special and welcome thing. A toast to truth!

Read the whole opinion here:

Fish v Kobach by Karoli on Scribd

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