Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican primary for Kansas governor going into Tuesday night. With years of name recognition, experience in a state-wide office, and an endorsement from Trump, he seemed like the biggest shoe in the shoo-in derby. Except … Kobach did have name recognition. And years in a state-wide office. And an endorsement from Trump. And what Kansas voters, even Republican Kansas voters, got from their good long look at Kris Kobach was a deep feeling for just what a fraud he really is.
The vote on Tuesday night resulted in a race too close to call, with Kobach less than 200 votes in the lead over Gov. Jeff Coyler. It’s a race that, by law, is headed for a recount. And, as the Kansas City Star reports, the person in charge of that recount is … Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
No law requires Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to recuse himself from a recount in the governor’s race, but legal and political experts say that he should to maintain trust in the election.
Odds that Kobach will actually step away from the ability to shovel more votes into his column seem about as likely as Kansas becoming the downhill skiing Mecca of America, because when it comes to counting votes, Kobach is a specialist—at doing it wrong.
When it comes to voter fraud, there is no bigger fraud than Kris Kobach. He has long been at the forefront of using charges of voter fraud as a means of engineering ever stronger means of vote suppression. It was that reputation for editing votes to produce the desired results that caused Donald Trump to put Kobach at the helm of the commission Trump formed to find those “three to five million” fraudulent votes he claimed pushed Hillary Clinton to victory in the popular vote. Unfortunately, the fraud … was the fraud. Not only was there never any evidence of “massive” voter fraud, there wasn’t even evidence of minuscule voter fraud. Except for the kind that Kobach had been creating by turning away legitimate voters.
Undeterred, Kobach continued to act as if he had made astounding discoveries, discoveries he would soon reveal to the world. But the game went on with no genuine results for so long that finally even Trump was forced to pull the plug on the commission. Last week, one of the members of this sad little exercise in attempting to save face even if it destroyed democracy spilled his story to the Washington Post, calling the whole affair “the most bizarre thing I’ve ever been a part of.” The documents produced by the commission were “hollow” and contained no evidence of voter fraud … even if there were pre-written chapter headings just waiting to be filled with So Much Fraud.
And the work that Kobach had done trying to spread Trumpian xenophobia at a fee turns out to be a huge money-loser and reputation stain for the communities with the poor judgement to hire Mr Fraud. Those towns foolish—and racist—enough to take Kobach’s “legal” advice ended up with huge bills and less than nothing to show for the effort.
“It was a sham,” Phelps said of Kobach’s pitch, which ultimately ended in a resounding defeat for Farmers Branch. He “kept telling us, ‘We can win this. We’ll just keep appealing it,’ which I felt was very misleading. It was just a sad situation that we had to go through, and everybody now regrets it.”
Earlier this year, Kobach reached what seemed to be maximum Kobach when he went before a federal judge to defend laws he’d put in place to guard against the scourge of nonexistent voter fraud by disenfranchising Kansas voters wholesale. It did not end well for Kobach … though it was hilarious for everyone else. Not only did the judge call the witnesses and evidence that Kobach produced ”flawed, invalid, biased, irrelevant, unreliable and untrustworthy,” but the secretary of state himself came in for slaps for “repeated and flagrant violations” of court procedures and for “flaunting disclosure and discovery rules that are designed to prevent prejudice and surprise at trial,” The end result was Kobach literally being ordered back to school to take a class in court procedures.
As far as what the results of the Kobach recount of Kobach may look like, the possibilities are not all that reassuring.
“Go back and look at the pictures of the Florida recount,” Johnson said, referencing the disputed Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. “It may look like that.”
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.