"Our campaign had an undeniable, unmistakable message," he told his supporters during his victory speech on Election Night, "and that message could be summed up in three words, three words which were on every one of our 4 billion highway signs: 'stop voter fraud.'"
"And now that clear message becomes transformed into a clear mandate," Kansas' Secretary of State-elect Kris Kobach (R) told his fans that night, promising "significant reforms" to the state's election system. Answered with cheers in the Topeka ballroom Kobach promised: "We are gonna have Photo ID at the polls."
As he stated himself, Kobach's campaign was almost entirely built on the promise of putting a stop to the state's out-of-control (and also, non-existent, but ssshhh, don't tell anybody) "voter fraud" epidemic. But now that the election's over, he's having trouble identifying any actual instances of the horrible scourge he helped trick Republican voters into believing actually existed.
Talking Points Memo, who has done a bang-up job of keeping tabs on Kobach's duplicity over the past year, caught up with the SoS-elect yesterday after he spoke on a "civil rights" panel at the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention and asked him how the hunt is going.
He, um, had trouble actually citing any evidence of voter fraud since, as of now, he "hadn't heard of any." "There have been a few cases where I've heard allegations of voter fraud," he says, "but we're just a few weeks out from the election."
No doubt, the evidence will come rolling in soon. The only question is will it come in before or after Kobach and his anti-democracy GOP cronies enact disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at the polling place, as promised, despite the fact that such laws have been shown time and again to keep millions of legal minority, elderly, and student (read: Democratic-leaning) voters from being able to cast their ballots.
Here's TPM's short video interview with Kobach in which --- just in case you hadn't any doubt about the bankruptcy of his claims --- he also alludes to the long-discredited Rightwing scam-artist/"voter fraud" fraudster John Fund, whose book on "voter fraud" has, itself, been debunked as a fraud over and again...
For the record, Media Matters' Political Correction site has compiled a page indexing many of Kobach's on-the-record, if usually substance-free, claims about "thousands of...fraudulent voters" in the state helping to make the epidemic of "voter fraud" into "the civil rights issue of our time." How's that for Orwellian? Kobach's crusade to deny voters their civil rights through the voter suppression of draconian and unnecessary polling place Photo ID restrictions is, according to Kobach, a matter of "civil rights."
Also, he notes, up is down and black is white.
The Political Correction page absolutely dismantles all of Kobach's claims and his intended remedies for his imaginery epidemic, and even cites, among much other evidence, the fact that, as of July 2010, "according to the [Kansas Sec. of State's] election division, there have been 20 claims of voter fraud --- in the past 10 years," out of some 5 million votes cast in the state since 2000. Also, a spokesperson for former 16-year Republican Sec. of State Ron Thornburgh has stated that "voter fraud is very minimal" and "not widespread at all," while the current Sec. of State Chris Biggs, a Democrat, is on record explaining that "Voter fraud in this state is not a major problem."
Kobach, of course, also believes ACORN is, or was, stealing elections, despite the lack of any evidence that any voter ever improperly registered by one of the organization's workers has ever cast even one illegal vote in any election. That, also despite the fact that it is ACORN themselves who expose such workers when they've been defrauded by them, before seeking prosecution of such individuals.
But what do you expect from a guy who thinks Sen. Al Franken stole the election in Minnesota in 2008, despite the victory coming by way of the most painstaking, detailed, open, transparent, and multi-partisan hand count of paper ballots ever carried out in this country?
Nonetheless, like clockwork every two years, the GOP dupes, hoaxed in full by Republican scoundrels like Fund, Kobach and Fox "News," come back to breathlessly declare the massive epidemic of "DEMOCRATIC VOTER FRAUD!!!" that is "destroying the fabric of democracy" (as Sen. John McCain declared in shameful desperation during his failed 2008 Presidential Election bid), only to disappear shortly after Election Day, with evidence of no such epidemic at all.
See ya in two years, "voter fraud" fighters! And, until then, if you're really concerned about the far more serious problem of election fraud --- wherein a single insider like, say, KS' new Secretary of State Kris Kobach, can defraud an entire election, with little or no possibility of detection, via unverifiable e-voting systems, computer tabulators, or even voter suppression through polling place Photo ID restrictions --- let us know. We'll be here 24/7/365, not just in the days and weeks before an election, working to do something about it, trying to protect everyone's votes. If you actually give a damn about democracy, we'll welcome your support, no matter which party you may represent.
Oh, and good luck, voters of Kansas. You're gonna need it now more than ever.