Committee Investigates Impact of Kansas Voter ID Laws
The Kansas Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission is investigating the effects of new voter ID laws on elections in Kansas, as the debate over voter fraud continues. State lawmakers gave Secretary of State Kris Kobach the authority to prosecute voter fraud cases this year. Kobach says local prosecutors don’t have time to aggressively pursue such cases, but he says his office will. U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom says Kobach will have trouble finding cases to prosecute since, Grissom says, very little voter fraud actually exists in Kansas. “When you do the percentage as to the total number of people who go out and exercise their right to vote, it’s like point-zero-zero-zero-nine percent,” Grissom said. And, he says, many of the cases of alleged fraud turn out to be honest voters simply making stupid mistakes. Secretary of State Kobach fiercely disagrees with that assessment and says, a prosecuting attorney should consider all crimes important. “Maybe he defines bank robbery as criminal stupidity on the part of someone who needs some money.” Kobach said. “It’s strange that a prosecutor would refer to a criminal act as something stupid and nothing to worry about.” Kobach says hundreds of voter fraud cases are reported in Kansas each year including cases of false identification and double voting. Kobach devised many of state’s new voter laws, which are some of the toughest in the country.