DENVER, Colorado—Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in Colorado on Saturday was pushing states to adopt the Secure and Fair Elections (“SAFE”) Act, model legislation he wrote to prevent vote fraud by requiring voter identification and proof of citizenship.
Kobach is a rising star among conservatives, many of whom would like to see him tapped by Donald Trump to be U.S. attorney general in a Trump administration. A former Justice Department attorney under Attorney General John Ashcroft in the Bush 43 administration, Kobach has made a national name for himself as one of the leading advocates of securing the ballot box against fraud, and also as the author of key provisions making the 2016 GOP Platform the most conservative in modern history, on issues ranging from the border wall, to traditional marriage, to the Supreme Court.
The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) held a national election law seminar in Denver on Friday and Saturday, and the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) convened an invitation-only event alongside RNLA’s seminar, featuring several secretaries of state, chief election officers, Republican former and current federal elections officials, and constitutional lawyers, to explore strategies to protect against voter fraud. Kobach spoke at both events.
During the ACRU event, Kobach touted his SAFE Act, which was designed to require proof of U.S. citizenship and proof of identity in a manner fulfilling the requirements the U.S. Supreme Court has held are consistent with the Constitution. It is model legislation for states to adopt as part of their election laws, rather than a federal law, since the Constitution entrusts the sovereign states with primary responsibility for holding elections.
The SAFE Act authorizes as “qualifying identification” to vote current photo IDs (or also expired IDs for voters over age 65) that are:
- a driver’s license issued by any state or district of the United States;
- a state identification card issued by any state or district of the United States;
- a concealed carry [firearm] license … issued by any state or district of the United States;
- a United States passport;
- an employee badge or identification document issued by a municipal, county, state, or federal government office or agency of the United States;
- a military identification document issued by the United States;
- a student identification card issued by a public postsecondary institution of education; or
- a public assistance identification card issued by a municipal, county, state, or federal government office or agency of the United States.
The SAFE Act also makes exceptions, allowances, and accommodations for military personnel and their families, for people with special medical disabilities, and for individuals whose religious beliefs prohibit them from taking photographs.
Speaking exclusively with Breitbart News in Denver at the ACRU event, Kobach said, “Every time an alien votes, it cancels out the vote of a United States citizen. This is a nationwide problem.”
“Every state needs to address it and take steps to secure the most fundamental privilege of citizenship—the vote,” he added.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News and a fellow at the American Civil Rights Union. He is also the coauthor with Ken Blackwell of “The Other Voting Right,” published by Yale Law & Policy Review. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.