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Former Election Integrity Chair Faces Accusations of Voter Registration Tampering

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach could face a grand jury investigation while he runs for governor. The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled Friday that a citizen grand jury can proceed with an investigation into allegations that Kobach tampered with people's ability to register to vote online.

Readers may recall that Kobach was the head of President Trump's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which is a bit ironic given his record.

A federal judge found in July 2016 that he illegally purged 18,000 voters from the rolls. He even tried to divide registered voters into two separate classes -- which again was blocked by the courts. He is also well known for trying to force a Democrat to stay on the ballot during the 2014 US Senate race when the Republican incumbent faced a credible independent challenger.

Clearly, the model of election integrity.

In this case, Democratic candidate Steve Davis filed a petition in 2016 to have Kobach investigated for allegedly preventing eligible citizens from registering to vote online. The Douglas County District Court rejected the petition.

The Kansas Legislature then passed a law in 2017 that allowed for appeals when petitions for grand juries are denied. Davis filed the petition again, only to have it rejected once more by the district court.

The Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's decision Friday and ordered the district court to summon a grand jury.

"Davis’ petition will enable a grand jury to investigate whether Kobach or his subordinates had destroyed, obstructed or failed to process online voter registration applications and whether Kobach’s office had prevented qualified voters from casting their ballots," The Kansas City Star reports.

This investigation would come in the middle of Kobach's campaign for governor, which could have a major impact on the race.Stay tuned for more on this story.

Photo Credit: Mark Reinstein /

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