President Donald Trump’s election fraud expert and Kansas’ secretary of state, Kris Kobach is scheduled to defend in court his assertions of widespread election fraud Tuesday as part of a major voting rights case that may put Trump’s so far uncorroborated claims to trial as well.
The president’s election fraud guru will face off in court against the American Civil Liberties Union, which maintains that the Kansas law demanding that voters provide a document proving their citizenship is in violation of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), NBC News writes.
“Kris Kobach has been the nation’s chief purveyor of false things about voter fraud,” Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said. “Now it’s time to prove it, and I don’t think he’s going to.”
Kobach got in the public eye as the source of President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that millions of illegal ballots were cast in the 2016 presidential election. He additionally came into prominence as the leader of Trump’s controversial Advisory Commission on Election Integrity aimed at examining the U.S. electoral system for evidence of large-scale voter fraud. The commission was created in May 2017 and was abruptly dissolved in January 2018 without issuing any findings.
Ho said that the Kansas case could have serious implications for voting rights, though for Kobach the stakes are equally high. If he lost, Kobach would have to abandon the strict voter fraud law he has championed as a model for the nation or he would have to begin a lengthy appeals process that could go as high as the Supreme Court.
Kobach faces a tough challenge when it comes to winning as to do so he would have to both convince the court that voter fraud in Kansas is as widespread as he claims and prove that Kansas’ law doesn’t violate the NVRA.
In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that a similar law in Arizona requiring proof of citizenship on federal voter registration forms violated the NVRA. The ACLU represents the League of Women Voters and five plaintiffs, all American citizens in Kansas, who couldn’t register to vote because of the proof-of-citizenship law.
Ho pointed out that while most voters have a birth certificate or passport needed to prove their citizenship, demanding those documents at the time of voter registration is a barrier for voters. It also proves a financial burden for those who need to pay for documents, like a birth certificate.