The Buzz

Missouri lawmakers grant new powers to secretary of state


Last year, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was given the authority to prosecute voting crimes, becoming the only secretary of state in the nation with such prosecutorial authority.

He had ridden into office on the issue of voter fraud.

In Jefferson City this week, the General Assembly gave the secretary of state the ability to conduct investigations of election offenses. The bill’s sponsor: state Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee’s Summit Republican.

And guess what? Kraus is a candidate for secretary of state.

“Catching and preventing election fraud should be one of the main focuses of the secretary of state’s office,” Kraus said in a statement Friday. “This change would give them another tool to enforce election law effectively.”

The measure now goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, a former attorney general who may not want to see the office he once held cede power to another statewide official.

Kraus, it appears, is following the Kobach playbook.