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Crowson: Voter Turnout Is Down and Kobach Doesn't Like It


Pity poor Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. He finds himself recently in the unenviable situation of having to argue against his own intentions. Here is a man who has spent years working feverishly to keep certain people from voting. 

Wednesday, a study was released by the U.S. Government Accounting Office, concluding that his efforts have been successful. Kansas voter turnout was lessened more between 2008 and 2012 than it was in five states, which had no changes in their voter I.D. requirements. Kobach says the study got it wrong. He wants us to believe that voter turnout increased, and he’s come up with a different way to calculate it.

He’s increasing voter turnout by making it harder to vote? We’ve all watched his actions for years as he railed against the imaginary enemy--voter fraud. He has suspended the votes of 18,000 Kansans for neglecting to say, “Mother, may I?” when they showed up at the polls to vote. And how many other Kansans have quietly given up their legal right to cast ballots because they could not or would not jump through Kobach’s hoop?

Does anyone not believe that whenever Kobach gets news of lessened voter turnout, he doesn’t shut his office door and do a little delirious happy dance? The man lives for this. He is getting the results he has worked so hard for.

Maybe all those quakes and tremors in Kansas lately are being caused by fracking. I suspect they are simply the vibrations emitted from Kris Kobach’s happy dance. Now and then his glee, so suppressed in public, takes over in private and he shakes the whole state of Kansas as he busts a move to stomp down voter turnout. It’s not fracking. It’s Kobaching. .

Richard Crowson is not only a editorial commentator for KMUW. He's also a cartoonist, an artist and a banjo player.