Irony is certainly not dead in the state of Kansas, where the GOP gubernatorial primary is wrought with accusations that one of the candidates — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, perhaps the most notorious purveyor of voter fraud alarmism — is mismanaging the vote count of his own race.
Kobach announced Thursday that he was recusing himself from overseeing the vote tallying in his race against the current governor Gov. Jeff Colyer. The race is too close to call and may go to recount. After the correction of a Kobach-office clerical error revealed that Kobach’s lead had shrunk below 100 votes, Colyer had written Kobach a letter requesting his recusal and accusing Kobach of “making public statements on national television which are inconsistent with Kansas law and may serve to suppress the vote in the ongoing Kansas primary election process.”
In a brilliant move of trolling, the Colyer campaign also set up a “voting integrity” telephone hotline.
Even after Kobach’s recusal, concerns were raised about the fact that the deputy who is now overseeing the count, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker, donated to Kobach’s campaign.
Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill last week making the state the 14th in the country to adopt automatic voter registration. The opt-out system will go into effect in 2020, according to elections officials in the state.
There’s a new twist in the fight between North Carolina’s Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the state’s GOP legislature that’s seeking to take over much of his authority. In the lawsuit Cooper brought against North Carolina’s election board to stop two ballot initiatives that would curb his ability to appoint judges, as well as name commissions on various state boards, attorneys of the elections board are siding with Cooper in the case. At a hearing on Tuesday, a document written by the elections board attorneys said that the legislature had “adopted false and misleading ballot language” in the initiatives, mimicking the governor’s position in the case
Iowa’s state Supreme Court on Friday mostly upheld a lower court’s decision to block new absentee ballot voter restrictions from going to effect. Friday’s decision halted the requirement that absentee voters provide an ID verification number on their ballot, as well as a provision letting election officials throw out absentee ballots if they believed the ballots’ signatures didn’t match the signatures the state has on file for the voters. The decision did allow for the absentee voting period to be shortened from 40 days to 29.
In Indiana, the state’s attorney general is fighting the implementation of a settlement that a bipartisan county election board reached to expand early voting in Marion County, the most populous county in Indiana, after a federal judge ordered the county to open more early voting polling places. Attorney General Curtis Hill said Tuesday in a court filing seeking to block the agreement that the settlement was “contrary to public interest.”