Trump, Kris Kobach and the voter fraud issue

[Note 7/20/2017.  In the original version of this post, I mistakenly exaggerated the possibility of fraud by individual voters.  My changes to the post are in italics and strikeouts.]

Kris Kobach, the vice chair of the Presidential Commission on Electoral Integrity, is one of the chief proponents of the infamous CrossCheck system that may have led to wrongful cancellation of voter registrations of thousands of Americans.

As Secretary of State of Kansas, he claimed that there were large numbers of voters who were registered in two or more states and voted in two different states on the same day.

The supposed solution to this was to compile lists of names of voters with similar names, and to assume that they were the same person.

CrossCheck has compiled a list of 7 million paired names—which Kobach says means there are 3.5 million potential double voters.   This is the basis of Donald Trump’s charge that 3 million people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast said 1.1 million voter registrations have already been deleted as a result of CrossCheck.   Palast said the names are skewed toward typically black names, such as Jackson, and typically Hispanic names, such as Hernandez.

Now double voting theoretically is possible.  When I relocated from Maryland to New York state, I don’t remember canceling my voter registration.

Maybe I could have requested an absentee ballot and continued to vote in Maryland.   Or, more likely, maybe somebody else could have voted in my name.

Corrupt political machines in the past counted votes of people who’d moved away as well as votes of people who’d died.   Or they just bypassed the casting of ballots and simply reported the desired vote count.

Maybe this is a serious problem in some places, although I doubt it.   The way to check is not to check my name against lists of names in other states, but to check against tax records, license records and postal records.  If I don’t pay taxes, am not licensed to drive and don’t receive mail in Maryland, I can be presumed not to live there send me a postcard every two years to see if I am still living at my official home address. 

In fact, this is done is done here in Monroe County, N.Y.  Every couple of years, I receive a notification of the polling place in my precinct.   If the notification was returned because I was no longer living at my address, the Board of Elections would know I had moved away.

Maybe voting by non-citizens also is theoretically possible, but it also is not something that requires a massive purge of voting rolls.

I don’t recall anyone ever asking me to prove that I am an American citizen when I registered to vote or when I voted, only that I am the person I claimed to be.   So, for all any election officials know, I could be a resident alien.

Voting by non-citizens in national elections has been a violation of federal law since 1996 and also is a violation of state law.   Again, this may be a serious problem in some places, although i doubt it.   If it is a problem, I don’t think it should be solved by limiting the voting rights of American citizens who happen to have foreign accents, darker complexions or non-European names.

You could require all voters, when they register, to swear under serious penalties of perjury, that they are American citizens.   If you don’t think that’s good enough, then set up a system to issue every American citizen an ID that constitutes proof of citizenship, either at birth or when naturalized.   And if you don’t like the idea of a national ID system (I don’t), then accept the risk that a non-citizen voter may slip through the cracks now and then.

For the sake of argument, I have treated unauthorized voting as a serious problem.   But in fact I do not think that charges by Donald Trump and Kris Kobach of unauthorized voting are made in good faith.   The drive by people such as Trump and Kobach to limit voting rights is a much greater threat to our democratic election system.


Kris Kobach Is Preparing to Be the Next Trump by Eric Armstrong for The New Republic.

Trump Blows the GOP’s Cover On Voter Suppression Efforts by Bridgitte Dunlop for Rolling Stone.

Republican States Send Voter Information Files to Kobach, Even While Claiming They Will “Resist” His Demand by Greg Palast for The Progressive.

Trump Picks Al Capone of Vote Rigging to Investigate Federal Vote Fraud by Greg Palast on his website.

The massive election-rigging scheme the media ignored by Thom Hartman and Richard Greene for Alternet.

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2 Responses to “Trump, Kris Kobach and the voter fraud issue”

  1. Edward Says:

    This is the Enron version of voting.


  2. John Pennington Says:

    The criminal Kobach should spend several years in prison for fraudulent distortion of the voting process.


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