Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who also serves as vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, discussed on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily left-wing efforts to obstruct his commission.
“The first meeting of the president’s Commission on Voter Integrity is supposed to be next week on Wednesday,” Kobach reported. “What is happening right now is there are five different lawsuits brought by the ACLU. One is by the ACLU. One is by the Lawyers Committee on Human Rights, which is a left-wing legal group. There are a couple of other left-wing organizations bringing these lawsuits. They are literally seeking to stop the commission. Two of the lawsuits are trying to prevent the first meeting on Wednesday from occurring.”
“To put this in perspective, both the Bush administration and the Obama administration had approximately 25 presidential commissions during their terms,” he recalled. “Only a handful encountered any sort of litigation. Five lawsuits to stop one presidential commission from even beginning its work is just – I would have never predicted this – the left is just apparently outraged that we’re taking a look at voter fraud. It’s unbelievable.”
Kobach noted that his commission is bipartisan, including two Republican and two Democratic secretaries of state.
“One of the Democrats is the longest-serving secretary of state in America. He’s Bill Gardner from New Hampshire,” he noted. “So it’s a bipartisan commission looking at the facts, going wherever the facts take us. Even if that is the motivation – which for some of the high-ranking people, like Terry McAuliffe in Virginia or some of the others who happen to be Democrats – it doesn’t even make sense.”
“It’s a bipartisan commission, and if their theory is that voter fraud doesn’t exist – which, you know, their constant refrain that why should this commission exist, voter fraud doesn’t exist – well then, we’ll make their case for them,” he proposed. “We will look for various threats to voter integrity, and we’ll come up with nothing. They should be happy we are meeting.”
“It’s truly extraordinary that they are trying to stop the commission from even beginning. These lawsuits are intended to stop the gathering of data and stop the meeting of the commission. It does make you think that some people out there don’t want us to see what amount of voter fraud there is,” said Kobach.
SiriusXM host Alex Marlow asked if Kobach saw the Wednesday report from Penny Starr of Breitbart News about hundreds of Colorado voters suddenly withdrawing their voter registrations after the state agreed to comply with the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
“Yes, I did see that story,” Kobach said. “It’s interesting. It could be a number of things. It could be, actually, people who are not qualified to vote, perhaps someone who is a felon and is disqualified that way, or someone who is not a U.S. citizen saying, ‘I’m withdrawing my voter registration because I am not able to vote.’ It could be a political stunt – people who are trying to discredit the Commission and withdrawing temporarily because they are politically active but planning to get back on the voter rolls before the election next November.”
“Who knows what’s causing it, but the fact that just studying the issue of voter fraud has tapped such a raw nerve among these organizations like the ACLU tells you that they really, really don’t want a presidential commission finding out what there is to see,” he said.
Kobach offered the counter-example of President Barack Obama’s 2013 commission to investigate “allegations that there were long lines at polling places in some states” during the 2012 election.
“I was actually a witness called before that commission to offer testimony from the state of Kansas,” he recalled. “You didn’t see groups on the right suing to stop the commission, suing to stop the investigation to see the extent of the problem and see what the commission recommended. The commission went forward. It did its work. It was bipartisan like this one. But the groups on the left, like the ACLU, just don’t want this commission to do its work, which is just astounding to me.”
Kobach was not surprised at the left’s attempt to delegitimize his work by ascribing ugly partisan and racist motives to the investigation.
“That’s often the case when you see one side winning an argument. When the conservative side is winning an argument, and the left has nothing left, then they resort to playing the race card,” he said.
“I can put this in perspective in the state of Kansas,” said Kobach. “I drafted our proof of citizenship. We’re one of the four states that require proof of citizenship, and we also are one of the dozen or so states that have a very vigorous photo ID requirement on Election Day. In the legislature, this was in February and March of 2011. There was very little opposition from the Democrats in Kansas. It passed with the support of three-quarters of the Democrats in the Senate and two-thirds of the Democrats in the House, and virtually all of the Republicans. It went through with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
“Then, in the following year, you saw some national-level people on the left coming up with this ridiculous argument that ‘we’ll say photo ID is racist,’” he continued. “And then you saw people all across the country, including some of the people in Kansas who voted for the law, suddenly declaring that the law was racist.”
“It is just astounding how the word came down from on high that we are going to officially oppose photo ID, and our argument is going to be that it is racist, and it just caused people to argue against themselves,” he marveled.
“There is no evidence of this racist claim,” Kobach noted. “In Georgia, one of the states that had photo ID the longest, they’ve got a lot of detailed evidence about voting rates in different racial groups, and they have shown that voter participation went up after photo ID went into place.”
“In Kansas, our voter rolls do not record a person’s race. We have seen just generally, across the board, participation went up after we instituted photo ID, not down,” he added.
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