Trump Appoints Bigoted, Fringe, Conspiracy Theorist to Investigate His Baseless Voter Fraud Charges

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach Has Violated State and Federal Election Laws and Is the Architect of Voter Suppression Efforts Around the Country


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today President Trump is expected to sign an executive order establishing a commission to investigate his baseless claims of alleged voter fraud in U.S. elections. Trump will reportedly name Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to lead the commission. Kobach is the architect of the Crosscheck voter database system and other voter suppression techniques adopted around the country. He also is a bigoted extremist who traffics in fringe, conspiracy theories surrounding supposed voter fraud and many other issues. In response Allied Progress released the following statement and a thirty-eight-page research dossier exposing Kobach’s extreme record and rhetoric.

Kris Kobach shouldn’t be allowed near any investigation into voter fraud and suppression. If anything, he should be the one being investigated,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.

He continued, “This man has trafficked in just about every fringe, voter fraud conspiracy theory that has ever found its way onto the internet. This man has made it his personal mission to invent new ways to keep people from voting. Kobach has built his career on bigoted and hateful rhetoric.”


Highlights: Kobach’s Career of Fringe Extremism

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Read the full report.

Kobach Has a Clear Anti-Immigrant Record:

  • Kobach said, “Illegal immigration is perpetuating a liberal agenda because immigrants, who are at the bottom in income earnings, are ‘a dependency class’ that tends to vote for expansion of welfare services,” and that “voter fraud is also ‘forcing the socialist yoke on the American public’ because it ensures Democrats win every close election.”
  • Kobach, in 2014, “warned that President Obama’s executive actions and general ‘lawlessness’ on immigration could lead to ‘ethnic cleansing.’”
  • Kobach “helped train the officers of Arizona’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio in immigration enforcement strategies.” The U.S. Department of Justice ruled that the “department created ‘a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos’ and revoked its authority to conduct immigration screenings.”
  • Kobach has written and defended ordinances and legislation in many locales to “discourage businesses from hiring illegal immigrants or renting housing to them.”
  • In one instance, Kobach was paid at least $197,000 to defend an ordinance in a small Pennsylvania city “that sought to punish employers who give illegal immigrants jobs as well as landlords who rent to them.” When the city ran out of money to pay him, he raised funds to pay himself from a donor in Texas.
  • In another instance, a small Nebraska town had to raise property taxes to pay legal fees to Kobach and others defending an ordinance “to ban the hiring, harboring and renting to illegal immigrants.”
  • Kobach helped write the Arizona law that made it “a state crime to be in the country illegally.”
  • Kobach supports restricting birthright citizenship and has written anti-birthright citizenship legislation.

Kobach Has Extremist Views, Supports Discrimination Against Immigrants, LGBTQ+ Americans, and Other Minorities:

  • Kobach compared gay people to drug users and polygamists and thinks businesses should not have to serve gay people, comparing it to “state-forced slavery.”
  • Kobach’s 2004 congressional campaign received contributions from the U.S. Immigration Reform PAC, which was a PAC with “leadership linked with efforts to prove black people and other racial minorities are genetically inferior and who claim immigrants cause sprawl, aids, and leprosy.”
  • Kobach, in 2013, said pro-immigrant protesters acted like the Ku Klux Klan.

Kobach Led the Charge on Voter Suppression Efforts as Kansas Secretary of State and Head of the State’s Republican Party:

  • Secretary of State Kobach staunchly defended Kansas’ requirement that people show proof of citizenship to register to vote, even though the requirement has prevented thousands of Kansans from registering to vote and his claims of undocumented immigrants voting “don’t stand up to scrutiny.”
  • Kobach said people who had trouble registering to vote because of this requirement are “‘mostly casual registrants, many of whom do not intend to vote,’” and “procrastinators.”
  • When Kobach was the chair of the Kansas Republican Party it used a technique known as “caging” to suppress voting.
  • Kobach is so concerned about voter fraud that he created the Crosscheck system, allegedly to make it more difficult for people to vote in multiple states.
  • Crosscheck, which is championed, managed, and controlled by Kansas Secretary of State Kobach, is purging “black, Hispanic, and Asian American voters” on a massive scale. “‘Already, tens of thousands have been removed from voter rolls in battleground states, and the numbers are set to climb.’”
  • Kansas officials have a master list of 6.9 million suspected “potential double voters,” but “the process for checking those names, a computer program called Crosscheck . . . is incredibly inaccurate.” It intentionally and “deliberately ignores any Social Security mismatches, in the few instances when the numbers are even collected.”
  • Kobach’s Crosscheck system “is incredibly broad with a strong bias toward removing people from the rolls. And the means for verifying voter identity–sending postcards to addresses on file–puts the burden of proof on individual voters and is almost designed to take people fff the rolls; with false positives and duplicate names, there’s no guarantee that anyone gets their verification card.”

Despite Pointing the Finger at Others, It’s Kobach Who Has a Record of Fraud, Ethics Issues, and Campaign Finance Violations: 

  • “Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s campaign was Ffned $5,000,” which was the maximum possible fine, by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission for omitting “about $35,000 in contributions and nearly $43,000 in spending from reports filed for the 2010 campaign,” followed by a “‘lack of candor before the commission.’” 
  • Kobach’s congressional campaign went years without filing legally required campaign finance reports.
  • When Kobach was the chair of the Kansas Republican Party “the state party accepted illegal contributions.”

To speak with Karl Frisch about Kobach’s appointment, please contact Tucker Middleton at 202-644-8526 or tucker@alliedprogress.org.

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Allied Progress is a nationwide, progressive advocacy organization that uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold Wall Street and powerful special interests accountable. Since launching in 2015, the organization has led high-profile campaigns on several issues including reforming the payday lending industry and exposing the those working to cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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