Kobach: Voter Fraud Commission Not Out to Prove Trump Claims

Vice chair says election integrity panel about 'preservation of our system'

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 15 May 2017 at 1:43 PM

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said a commission President Donald Trump empaneled to investigate the scale of voter fraud and electoral vulnerabilities will fight for “the preservation of our system,” during an interview Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Kobach, the vice chairman of the commission created in an executive order, noted that the new group came under swift fire from the left, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. Critics claim the commission was only created to prove Trump’s claims that millions of illegal voters participated the 2016 election. Kobach insisted those claims were without merit.

“Regardless of what the commission finds, regardless of what the statistics are nationwide, I will continue to push for the preservation of our system.”

“The commission is going to be looking at a lot more than Trump’s statement regarding the 2016 election. We’re going to be looking at, you know, the elections from the past 10, 20 years,” Kobach said, “and we’ll put the facts on the table, and they may or may not support some of the things that the president said in January.”

“But that’s really neither here nor there. We just want to get the information out because you hear this narrative — you know, very heated rhetoric — especially from the side who says there is no voter fraud,” Kobach added. “And they don’t bring in any facts to bear. And we’re going to put the facts on the table, the math statistics from all 50 states, not just one state.”

Kansas’ secretary of state noted that his own state witnessed at least 125 individuals register to vote who were not legal citizens. An investigation concluded that number could have been “as high as 18,000,” Kobach said.

Kobach said critics who claim there is no voter fraud and no voting irregularities should support the commission.

“These guys are running around saying that voter fraud doesn’t exist. So they should be welcoming the commission,” Kobach said. “If that’s true, we won’t be able to find anything there, and we’ll prove their case.”

Kobach also blasted accusations that the commission’s work will lead to voter suppression. Kobach said he and the commission want to know if any states’ policies do suppress legitimate voter participation so they can recommend reform.

“Why not look at the problem, look at the vulnerabilities in our 50 different election systems across the states and let people decide?” Kobach said. “Regardless of what the commission finds, regardless of what the statistics are nationwide, I will continue to push for the preservation of our system.”

“Even if we could only find two cases of voter fraud in the last 20 years … we still would do it. Because look, every time a fraudulent vote is cast it cancels out the vote of a legitimate U.S. citizen who is a registered voter in the district. There’s an important principle at stake here,” Kobach added. “You don’t just say because there’s only been, you know, one murder in our town in the last few years that we’re not going to have a police force anymore and we’re not going to prosecute murder anymore.”

Although the commission has not been given a fixed budget, Kobach said it will not be hiring additional personnel and will rely instead on panel members and officials at agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security. Vice President Mike Pence is on the commission, as well as other current and former secretaries of state, such as Kobach.

Before or by the end of the executive order’s two-year limit, Kobach says the commission will conclude its investigation and may potentially offer both Congress and the states recommendations based on its findings. States, in particular, are to have a “primary role” in dealing with their individual electoral systems, Kobach said.

Ingraham asked Kobach about the tone of the White House and whether the media's reports of "chaos" are true. Kobach dismissed those reports out of hand.

"The White House is incredibly busy. I mean, I've been over there at 11 p.m.," Kobach said. "They're surviving on pizza and coffee. And it's just humming with activity. So it's an extremely engaged and energetic White House. They're very busy."

Kobach insisted that constant activity "should not be confused with chaos."

Noting that he had attended several meetings with former President Geroge W. Bush during his administration, Kobach said that Trump is far more into "directing the meetings" than Bush was. Saying that Bush "was a little more passive during the meetings," Kobach noted that Trump exemplifies a well-informed "classic business executive-type mindset."

"He's made a decision, and he wants you to execute it," Kobach said, while Bush, on the other hand, had many meeting with no definitive decisions until weeks later.

"The president is very disciplined and very engaged," the Kansas secretary of state insisted. "He's been really impressive."

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