Under a seldom used provision of Kansas law, a local Democrat has successfully filed a petition with enough signatures to trigger a state grand jury investigation of Secretary of State Kris Kobach – though it's not clear whether the grand jury probe will proceed and it's universally agreed that there's no evidence Kobach committed any crimes.
The strange turn in Kansas comes as Kobach is fighting legal battles on multiple fronts to enforce stricter voting laws for this year's elections.
County officials in Kansas told the Associated Press Thursday that a petition to have Kobach investigated by a grand jury had attained enough signatures to allow a criminal investigation under Kansas law. The petition, filed by Democrat Steven X. Davis, who is a failed candidate for the state House, alleges that Kobach's office committed election fraud and voter suppression, though, even the civil rights groups critical of the restrictive laws pushed by Kobach said they did not believe he committed any crimes, according to the AP.
With Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew confirming with the AP that Davis' petition had received the number of required signatures, the matter will next be reviewed by the county's top judge. Kansas is one of six states that allows citizens to petition for grand jury criminal investigation, but the process is rarely used, the AP said.
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