Otherwise, Schumer said, he’ll try to block the commission by forcing its demise in an amendment to must-pass legislation, such as an increase in the debt ceiling or a government funding bill.
We’re not big fans of using must-pass bills as trees on which to hang unrelated legislative ornaments. But the senator is right to call for the dismantling of the already-discredited commission.
The effort to verify President Donald Trump’s claim that millions of Americans voted illegally is a waste of time and money.
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Instead, Americans should support Schumer’s alternative: public hearings on the status of voting rights.
Perhaps they could start in Texas, where a discriminatory voter ID law was thrown out by the courts just last week.
Then let’s move to North Carolina, where the push for restrictive voter laws was also stopped by the courts.
And by all means let’s take testimony from Kobach in Kansas.
In 2016, Kansas election authorities discarded 13,717 ballots — more than all but six other states, The Associated Press reports.
Kansas rejected more ballots than Florida, which is seven times its size. Missouri, with more than twice the population of Kansas, discarded just 3,803 ballots.
The reason for tossing so many ballots in the trash seems clear: It’s a reflection of Kobach’s relentless campaign to make it harder for Kansans to vote.
“He is on a crusade to stop people from voting,” former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander said last week.
Kansans should be particularly worried because Kobach is running for governor. Voters will wonder if his anti-voter agenda is aimed at aiding his own candidacy.
Other secretaries of state have supervised their own elections, of course. Such conflicts may be unavoidable.
But the Kansas Legislature should revisit the state’s election machinery when it convenes in January. In the state’s four largest counties, the election commissioner is hand-picked by the secretary of state. In Missouri, large counties have multi-member election boards that supervise balloting.
Kobach’s record is concerning. A new look at the role he plays in how elections are administered is warranted.
In the meantime, Kobach should tell the people of Kansas — and the nation — how he’ll guarantee that every legitimate vote will be counted next year when he’s on the ballot.
Abolishing the White House’s election commission should give him plenty of time to do so.