Democracy 21 Says Recent Court Ruling Against Kobach Illustrates His Lack Of Integrity & Shows Why No State Should Trust Him With Any Voter Information

Statement of Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer

Last week, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, in his capacity as Vice Chair of President Trump’s controversial Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, issued a request to every state Secretary of State to provide a vast amount of voter information.

Kobach’s inappropriate request included individualized voter information for every registered voter, including names, dates of birth, party affiliation, Social Security numbers, voting history, felony convictions, military affiliation, and other sensitive information.

A recent ruling against Mr. Kobach by a federal magistrate judge in Kansas shows why no state Secretary of State should trust Mr. Kobach with any voter information.

In the lawsuit brought by the ACLU against Mr. Kobach to challenge the Kansas voter registration law, the judge found on June 23, that Mr. Kobach had made “patently misleading representations” to the court about documents being sought in the lawsuit, according to an Associated Press article.

According to the AP article, the judge fined Mr. Kobach, stating “The court agrees that the defendant’s deceptive conduct and lack of candor warrant the imposition of sanctions.”

The judge’s ruling in the Kansas lawsuit demonstrates why no state Secretary of State should provide any voter information to Mr. Kobach.

Furthermore, Mr. Kobach’s “patently misleading representations” to the court and his “deceptive conduct and lack of candor,” as found by the court, requires President Trump to determine whether Mr. Kobach must resign from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Most Secretaries of State already have said they will not comply with the Kobach request. The Republican Secretary of State in Mississippi, for example, said his response to such a request will be to tell Kobach to “jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from.”

Even Mr. Kobach, in his role as Kansas Secretary of State has now had to say he won’t turn over some of the Kansas voter information he requested to the Commission.

In requesting the voter information, Mr. Kobach never explained how he would protect the privacy rights of citizens whose data he is asking states to hand over. He never explained how he would prevent misuse of the data. He never explained how states would be able to ensure compliance with their own state laws regarding dissemination and use of voter registration data. He never explained what he was planning to do with the voter information

Citizens have every right to be concerned about their privacy, about the misuse of this information and about this data request being aimed at placing new burdens on eligible citizens trying to register or vote.