You may have already heard of Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State. He’s a guy who will do almost anything to keep the “wrong” people from voting — and he helped write the GOP platform.
When a federal appeals court ordered Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, to stop enforcing a state law that added additional registration requirements, he tried to block an injunction that ordered him to register thousands of state residents for November’s presidential election. His request for a stay was denied.
In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson wrote, “even if instances of noncitizens voting cause indirect voter disenfranchisement by diluting the votes of citizens, such instances pale in comparison to the number of qualified citizens who have been disenfranchised by this law.”
Here’s what it boils down to: Kobach decided that voters who registered through the federal form at the DMV weren’t eligible to vote in any state or local races. After the court ruling, he provided instructions to election officials across Kansas on their duty to register these 18,000 people — but only for federal elections.
Now, even the New York Times has singled out Kobach for his lawless voter suppression.
Yes, he’s still telling state officials to enforce a law that both federal and state courts have already ruled against as suppressing the voting rights of at least 18,000 voters. According to him, those voters can only vote provisionally in federal races, and not at all in state and local races.
Kobach claims the cases are “unsettled” while he appeals. (The Times also accuses him of orchestrating his claim so that his appeals won’t be settled before his state’s summer primary elections.)
As the Times also points out, this kind of voter suppression is a pattern in Republican-controlled statehouses, predicated on their fraudulent claims of rampant voter fraud. The federal ruling in the Kobach case noted there were only three instances of ineligible voting in Kansas over 18 years.
You might think that the Republican party would shun Kobach over his lawless tactics, but you would be wrong. They must really like him a lot, because he’s been a major contributor to their 2016 platform — including immigration policy (his plank requires an actual, border-to-border wall) and a plank that opposes restrictions on high-capacity magazine weapons or “deprive a person from the right to keep and bear arms without the right to due process.” As in, refuse gun sales to possible terrorists on the no-fly list.
Kobach is more than just a vote suppressor — he’s a full-fledged culture warrior who also crafted a plank condemning the SCOTUS decision that legalized gay marriage. And just to show you what a swell guy he is, he pushed for it after a gay delegate from D.C. tearfully pleaded for a provision that would state there was a diversity of opinion in the party.
“It’s really important that the Republican Party plant its flag in the ground and say, look, this is the position we will continue to defend. Because the position of the District of Columbia delegate was that we should basically pack our bags and go home and say just because five lawyers on the Supreme Court say so, the issue is now decided.”
What a sweetheart. And what a stellar example of Donald’s new, improved Republican Party.