Yael T. Abouhalkah

Beware Kobach’s lie about KC voter fraud case

Updated: 2013-07-08T01:00:32Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

For an elected Secretary of State who claims he wants to prevent real voter fraud in elections, Kris Kobach sure has a cavalier way of talking about the subject.

Or, more bluntly, the Kansas Republican has a way of lying about it.

Case in point: In a recent op-ed in the Wichita Eagle-Beacon, Kobach states that he knows “aliens” have been involved in stolen elections.

He then cites what he calls two “recent” incidents. His first case, by the way, is from 1997! Let me state the obvious: That’s hardly recent, and hardly any evidence that this kind of “alien” action is going on to subvert U.S. elections.

But then comes the untruth from Kobach, reprinted fully here:

“Another incident happened in 2010 in Kansas City, Mo. In the state representative race between J.J. Rizzo and Will Royster, the election was stolen when Rizzo received about 50 votes illegally cast by citizens of Somalia. The margin of victory? One vote.”

Wow, that’s a big story: Votes were “illegally cast” by Somalis.

Let’s go to the court records to find proof for that serious allegation made by a sitting Secretary of State.

What’s that? There is no proof?

Indeed, there isn’t. There certainly were lots of allegations that Somalis had help in voting in the race for Rizzo. And Royster filed lawsuits alleging those kinds of problems. And some testimony indicated voting irregularities occurred regarding Somalis.

Yet when those claims got to court, here’s what happened: Jackson County Judge W. Stephen Nixon and then the state appeals court rejected Royster’s case.

Nixon ruled in August 2010 that “credible evidence proves that there was no voter misconduct and there was no voter fraud with regard to this election.”

In other words, nothing was proven in court regarding the legal matter of how the Somalis voted.

Rizzo was seated, and won re-election in 2012.

True, Rizzo’s name and the 2010 election have been in the news recently, when his uncle and aunt pleaded guilty to voter fraud. Essentially, they voted in Rizzo’s race in 2010 even though they didn’t live in the district. That’s despicable, and it certainly taints Rizzo’s initial election.

But this is also the kind of real voter fraud that Kobach’s Voter ID laws aimed at “aliens” would not have stopped.

Notice something else: There’s nothing from the feds or the Jackson County prosecutor’s office about any Somalis “illegally” voting or “stealing” the Rizzo-Royster race.

Kobach has the right to pout all he wants that Voter ID laws would protect us from “alien” voters. But he needs to find a better case before he — an elected official — states publicly that an election was illegally stolen.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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