Secretary of State Kris Kobach recently challenged Kansans to “stop voter fraud by reporting election violations.”
Writing on his office’s website, Kobach said, “Each step of the process must conform to the law, from voter registration to casting votes to counting ballots and certifying results.” It’s all to protect the “precious right of each citizen to be heard at the ballot box.”
Unfortunately, those noble-sounding words reflect Kobach’s heavy-handed attempts to make voter registration difficult and to scare people, including legal immigrants, from casting ballots.
And as it turns out, voter fraud might be occurring in a different way than Kobach has feared.
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Wichita State University mathematician and statistician Beth Clarkson has raised questions about whether Kansas voting machines are accurately counting some votes in Sedgwick County. Understandably, she wants tests conducted to see if the odd election returns she has seen have been, in fact, truly reported.
Sedgwick County election officials haven’t released paper records needed to do recounts. Clarkson is in court now, trying to get the information.
Kobach’s office is part of that lawsuit. As the state’s chief elections official, he should work to help resolve the issue in favor of openness and transparency. His reluctance to strongly embrace that approach makes him look too selective regarding concerns over voter fraud.