Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach
When it comes to the Voter Suppression Hall of Shame, Kris Kobach is an all-star. As Kansas’ secretary of state, Kobach has pushed voting restrictions like strict photo ID, proof of citizenship requirements, and voter purges. If there’s an unfair, unnecessary, anti-democratic voter suppression tactic out there, Kris Kobach has probably tried to force it onto the voters of Kansas.
And the nation: In 2017, Kobach served as vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity or, as we like to call it, the voter suppression commission to re-elect the President.
2018, though, was a year of embarrassment for Kobach. In January, the sham commission was disbanded amid controversy and repeated refusals from election officials nationwide to comply with its inappropriate requests for voter information. In April, a judge found Kobach in contempt of court in a case involving voting restrictions he pressed into law. That same month, his office submitted a court filing riddled with mistakes, including one passage in which the office itself conceded an argument was “PROBABLY NOT WORTH ARGUING.”
The restrictive proof of citizenship law at the center of that case was struck down in June, and Kobach himself was fined $1,000 for refusing to hand over documents related to his voter suppression efforts. (He was also ordered to take additional legal education classes.)
Still, despite his anti-democratic record and repeated failures, Kobach ran to be governor of Kansas in 2018. Kansas voters decided they’d had enough of Kobach’s antics and elected Democrat Laura Kelly. Nevertheless, Kobach is undeterred and launched his campaign for U.S. Senate (making headlines for misspelling his name on his F.E.C. filing forms).