The right-wing candidate for Kansas governor has degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale. But to watch him war with figments of his imagination — a fictional army of fraudulent voters — makes one think of that old ad campaign: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
.. Kobach, Kansas’s secretary of state, produced no credible support for his theory that large numbers of noncitizens are illegally voting in American elections. Thus, the Kobach-inspired law requiring Kansas voters to provide documentary proof of citizenship is unconstitutional because it imposes the burden without a reasonable justification.
.. “At most, 67 noncitizens registered or attempted to register in Kansas over the last 19 years,” the judge found. Of those, only 39, at most, actually ended up on voter rolls, put there largely by clerical mistakes, not fraud.
.. “Some applicants told the . . . clerk that they were not citizens, yet the clerk completed a voter registration application” anyway.
.. “Given the almost 2 million individuals on the Kansas voter rolls, some administrative anomalies are expected,”
.. For that matter, human errors have recorded 400 Kansas voters as having birth dates subsequent to their dates of registration.
.. Kobach, as much as any individual, is the author of right-wing mania over mass voter fraud.
.. Ducking and dodging so vigorously that the judge, a Republican appointee, held him in contempt of court, Kobach tried to argue that the tiny number of mistaken registrations actually proves the existence of a vast horde.
.. He “insists that these numbers are just ‘the tip of the iceberg.
.. Kobach may be a victim of his own success — or a textbook example of the Peter Principle
.. Winning the post of secretary of state in 2010 placed him in charge of Kansas elections, giving him the tools he needed to prove the righteousness of his quest.
.. Like Joseph McCarthy waving his phony list of communists, Kobach reached a point where he had to put up or shut up.
.. “Defendant already has prosecutorial authority over Kansas election crimes. Yet, since obtaining this authority . . . Defendant has filed zero criminal complaints against noncitizens for registering to vote.”
.. Robinson required Kobach to complete a refresher course in trial procedure before he can renew his law license — quite a smackdown for a former law professor.