Voter Suppression

Kris Kobach Was Embarrassed in Court Yesterday

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

A so-called voter fraud "expert" testified in court yesterday on behalf of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU is challenging the state's requirement that residents provide proof of citizenship to register to vote in violation of federal law.

Kobach's expert witness, Jesse Richman, was completely unable to support his claim that there are over 18,000 noncitizen voters in Kansas, but that wasn't the most embarrassing part.

The most embarrassing moment came when an ACLU attorney led Richman to implicate a federal judge from the same circuit.

American Civil Liberties Union attorneys took aim at shortcomings in Richman’s methods and presented two experts to refute his conclusions.

Varying estimates from Richman are based on small-sample surveys, including one in which six of 37 noncitizens said they tried to register to vote. Under questioning by ACLU attorney Dale Ho, Richman acknowledged he had no way of knowing if those six were successful in their efforts.

In another survey, Richman looked at suspended voters — those who didn’t provide proof of citizenship — and flagged any names that appeared to be foreign. Ho asked if, for example, a name like “Carlos Murguia” would be flagged. When Richman said yes, Ho informed him Murguia is a federal judge in the same courthouse where the trial is taking place.

I don't know how the court will rule, but it's been a slog for Kobach. Kobach has been repeatedly scolded for attempting to submit spurious evidence in the middle of the trial.

The fact is there just isn't much evidence at all to support claims that voter fraud is anything more than statistical noise that can be attributed to mistakes and human error in the overwhelming majority of cases. Legitimate cases of malicious vote fraud are as minuscule as a single grain of sand in the desert; single digits lifted from billions of votes.