Why couldn't Kris Kobach just have kept his mouth shut?
The Republican candidate for Secretary of State has been harping about voter fraud for the last several months, making claims that illegal immigrants and dead people are voting and swaying elections. And just when the media begins to seriously look into his wild-sounding theories, Kobach goes and negates any momentum he could have reaped.
KSHB Channel 41 began digging into some voter rolls in Jackson and Johnson counties, and actually found the family of a deceased woman who, records indicated, voted from the grave.
So scary. It's an interesting story with no big Ah-ha! moment. Supposedly dead voters were identified by names from a Social Security database of dead people that matched voter registration rolls. And, although a few corpses lingering on the rolls have been marked as voting (KSHB found 11) they're mostly just coincidences. Oh, and no dead people actually cast ballots.
Jackson County Election Board director Bob Nichols told everybody not to
worry, it's no big, even admitting that his office should clean up the rolls. "It's just a clerical error on our part," he told KSHB . "She hasn't really cast a vote." Whew.
But Kobach couldn't just sit back and let the media do his work for him.
In a press conference yesterday, Kobach promoted the evening news report
about the zombie electorate, which, perhaps not coincidentally,
Missouri Watchdog, a conservative group that doesn't reveal the sources
of its funding. That would have been a great place to stop.
But then he named a dead voter, one Alfred K. Brewer, whom, according to
Kobach, died May 6, 1996 but still got to the polls for the primary this
year. However, Democrats who know how to dial a telephone discovered that Brewer
is still kicking around Sedgwick County, exercising his right to fill
in ovals next to names.
Chris Biggs, Kobach's Democratic opponent, pounced on the gaffe. In a
statement, Biggs' spokesman Tyler Longpine said, "This is exactly the
kind of mistake a qualified candidate for Secretary of State
would never make."
Kobach's camp fired back in the only way they could have, after pulling
such a public boner: by attacking Biggs and dragging out an old memo
written during a previous Secretary of State's time in office.
"Secretary of State Chris Biggs has been trying to cover
up the volume and scope
of documented reports of voter fraud in Kansas," Kobach's campaign
spokesman said in a statement. He went on that a 2008
memo from state election director Brad Bryant warned of 50 reported
instances of voter fraud.
This is totally the momentum Biggs needs to close the gap. You know, since facial hair didn't work.