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Government

Kobach Says He Is Preparing To Prosecute Election Fraud

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US Dept. of Justice [Public domain]
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Wikimedia Commons

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says his office would immediately begin to prepare election fraud prosecutions if Governor Sam Brownback signs a bill giving him the power to prosecute.

Kobach has sought that authority since taking office in 2011.

The state House approved the bill 67-55, and sent the bill to the governor.

The secretary of state is currently Kansas' chief elections official, but must refer cases to county and federal prosecutors to pursue criminal charges.

Brownback's spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said Governor Brownback would review the measure carefully.

Kobach is the architect of state laws that require all voters to show photo identification at the polls, and to make new voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship when registering.

He claims his initiatives have reduced election fraud, but his critics say the fraud was limited to a handful of potential cases each election cycle.

They are also worried that Kobach might bring criminal charges against people that county and district prosecutors had chosen not to pursue because they did not break the law intentionally.