Kris Kobach’s incompetence on voting rights has been exposed for all Kansans to see — again.
In a nationally watched case, the Republican Kansas Secretary of State was slapped down late Friday by a federal appeals court for trying to enforce his overly restrictive voting law.
Instead of trying to make it easier to cast a ballot, Kobach has been engaged in a campaign making it harder for young people, minorities and poorer residents — often Democratic voters — to do that.
Up to 50,000 Kansans could be affected, state officials say, higher than earlier estimates of 18,000 as more people register to vote this summer.
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Essentially, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Kobach — under a law he pushed through the Legislature — could not stop eligible Kansans from voting in federal elections this fall. These people do not provide proof of citizenship when registering at motor vehicle offices — which they can do under federal law.
Kobach has claimed that voter ID laws like his are needed to prevent fraudulent voting. But he has never been able to prove it exists. And the courts keep pointing out that stubborn fact to Kobach.
The secretary of state is wasting money and time fighting the legal system. Kansas is the only state in the nation trying to vigorously use this dodge to try to make it more difficult for eligible people to go to the polls.
Kobach likely will appeal the appeals court’s ruling, and deserves to lose yet again.
Just days ago, Kobach whined to the appeals judges in a document that it would cause “widespread confusion” if the court knocked down his law. He said election officials across the state would have to work overtime to make sure people were properly registered after being held in limbo for so long.
Kobach led Kansas into this quagmire. He caused the problem.
Correctly so, the American Civil Liberties Union and others are fighting hard to protect the voting rights of thousands of Kansans.
That’s supposed to be Kobach’s job.
He needs to drop his legal appeals and start doing it.