An attorney for one of the people Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office charged with voting crimes last month is now trying to get the case thrown out because Kobach himself is not prosecuting the case, The Wichita Eagle reported Wednesday.
Kobach’s office filed a complaint last month in Sherman County accusing Lincoln L. Wilson of election perjury, a felony, as well as voting without being qualified in three elections between 2010 and 2014. Wilson told the Eagle at the time that voted in both Yuma County, Colorado and Sherman County, Kansas, where he said he splits his time, because he believed he was allowed to do so.
An attorney for Wilson, Jeff Mason, wouldn’t comment on his client’s prior statements to the Eagle. But he told the newspaper that he believed it was not proper for the case to be filed by Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker, who also appeared Tuesday at Wilson’s court hearing.
Mason told the newspaper that he believes “the statute requires that everything be done by Mr. Kobach as secretary of state” and made a motion to dismiss on those grounds. A spokesman for Kobach disagreed.
“We consider the motion to dismiss perfunctory and we clearly have statutory authority to prosecute this case,” spokesman Craig McCullah told the Eagle.
Kobach is the only secretary of state in the nation with the power to prosecute election fraud.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.