Kobach Held in Contempt of Court for Voter Suppression Efforts
20 April, 2018, 01:26 | Author: Kim Reid
Robinson says Kobach, now the Kansas Secretary of State, refused to update language on his office's website which indicated that new voter applicants may not have that right after the November 2016 elections.
In May 2016, the same federal judge that has now found Kobach in contempt of court struck a blow to the law by ruling that Kansas could not require people to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote in certain circumstances.
Robinson's ruling asked Kobach to pay for the attorney's fees for the litigation of the motion.
Robinson had earlier scolded Kobach for initially informing the voters covered by her order that they were registered only for the 2016 election and for failing to ensure that they receive the same postcard notifications about their registration as other voters.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach talks concerning the Kansas voter ID legislation that he compelled to combat everything he considers to become uncontrolled voter fraud in the United States in his workplace in Topeka, Kansas, U.S., on May 1 2, 2016. That law was blocked and the judge ordered Kobach to send all of them a postcard to confirm that they are indeed registered and can legally vote in 2018. "They were not, and the fact that he sent a different notice to those voters does not wholly remove the contempt, nor does his attempt to resend postcards eighteen months after the election and five months after Plaintiffs notified him of the issue".
Robinson said she did not find it credible that Kobach's office had orally instructed officials to send out the postcards.
Kobach had argued that he need not change the manual until the Supreme Court had a chance to weigh in on the case, and that he communicated with election officials via email the changes in policy due to her 2016 order.
After Robinson reasoned he strove to deceive the court on records regarding a 2016 interview Kobach was fined $ 1000 final year.
But Kobach also didn't update the state's election manual to reflect that people didn't have to prove their citizenship to register to vote, leaving state election officials without clear guidance to inform confused constituents.
Kobach and his lawyers initially said in court documents that they were only obligated to send affected voters the court notice, not the postcards. The ACLU said that only 11 are believed to have actually cast a ballot.
Rep. Keith Esau, an Olathe Republican who is running for secretary of state, defended Kobach.
Spokesman Moriah Day said in a statement that Kobach declined to comment.
The case has statewide ramifications with Kobach's run for governor.
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