Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) on Monday signed Senate Bill 34 (SB 34) into law, expanding Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s (R) power to prosecute voter fraud cases.
According to The Wichita Eagle, the new law allows Kobach, one of the most outspoken conservative champions of cracking down on voter fraud, the ability to prosecute voter fraud cases even if local prosecutors opt against advancing those cases.
Kobach, according to the Eagle, said his office had already identified over 100 cases of potential voter fraud, and had begun taking preliminary steps toward investigating those cases.
“Once you have matched that, you have a slam dunk,” Kobach said. “We’ll see what the ultimate number is. It’s hard to guess. I’m guessing that it’ll be an all-time high in double voting [in 2014], because Kansas was on the national news so much because of the tight governor’s race and Senate race. I think people were just tempted to cast [multiple] ballots.”
As TPM noted, under the law, Kobach isn’t the only one with prosecuting power on election law violations. County attorneys and the Kansas attorney general already had it before the new law was passed. Previously, Kobach had to refer cases to those local prosecutors. Now Kobach can move on criminal charges independently.
“Kris Kobach ran for office this last time on this bill,” Brownback said of the law, which Kobach helped create and pushed for. “So he took this issue to the people, and the people of Kansas looked at it and they want to make sure you don’t have voter fraud.”