Kobach loses case; remains undeterred to prove voter fraud

opinions

January 21, 2016 - 12:00 AM

One casualty of being in a panic to make a point is gross exaggeration.
Impossibly big fish, deep snow, long treks to school.
So when State Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker,  earlier this week alluded voter fraud is a rampant problem in Kansas, one should take it with a grain of salt.
Tyson was defending Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, and the effort he is expending to crack down on illegals casting votes.
Tyson said “it only takes $100” for illegals to purchase a fake ID, so they can vote.
She also said most of these perpetrators work in the meat-packing plants in the southwest corner of our state.
It’s fairly easy for Tyson to make such a blanket accusation. Sitting almost 400 miles away, she certainly doesn’t have to worry about voter retribution.
That distance also makes  them an easy target.
Same with her recent accusation that Syrian refugees are terrorists.
That slam came in her recent newsletter in which she applauded Gov. Sam Brownback’s executive order to halt the relocation of Syrian refugees to Kansas. “We cannot allow [these] terrorists to take advantage of our compassion,” she wrote.

FORTUNATELY, there are those who hold others accountable.
Last week,  Kobach’s most recent effort — and he’s spent a bunch on this single-minded mission — to change voting regulations in Kansas was denied in Shawnee District Court.
Kobach, like Tyson, likes to portray the world as a Them vs. Us.
Those Latinos. Us Caucasians. Those foreigners. Us citizens.
They bad. We good.
The trouble with painting the world in such broad strokes is that it not only skews the picture of the real world, but also voids it of its nuances and its beauty.
In Kobach’s opinion, no person should be able to vote unless he or she can prove they are a U.S. citizen before they mark a ballot.
Federal forms, which can be used in Kansas if requested, require voters to attest they are U.S. citizens. If found otherwise, they have committed perjury and can be prosecuted.
In Kobach’s mind, that’s too trusting.
Federal officials, on the other hand, are satisfied  because over the history of time it has proven to be a non-issue.
Kobach’s court case demanded that those who use the federal forms can vote only for those running for a national office. If they want to vote for a local or state race, they must use the state-issued election form.
District Judge Franklin Theis said no, either form is valid.

BESIDES WASTING valuable time and money to wage such wars, Kobach is trying to drum up fears that we’re being overtaken by illegals.
Unfortunately, too many in the Kansas Legislature are under his spell.
In 2013, legislators followed his directive and passed a law that requires people provide documentation of their citizenship if they want to cast a Kansas ballot.
Was it necessary? Not in the least. Some years, not even one fraudulent ballot can be found.
Who does the law hurt? The poor, minorities, and elderly who don’t have the ready means to gain access  to such documentation.
It’s also throws up a stumbling block to those who might vote, but don’t want to go to the trouble of securing the paperwork.
The real crime, however, is the damage caused by making these people feel as if they are second-class citizens.
Where does it go from here? Kobach has said he will appeal last week’s ruling.
Unfortunately, we’re not surprised.
— Susan Lynn

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