Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kobach files, defends controversial voting law

By The Herald Staff | 5/28/2014

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach plans to defend his stance on voter registration if elected for another term, he said.

Kobach filed for re-election Wednesday, according to a news release. He was elected to the office in 2010, defeating Democrat Chris Biggs, who was appointed by former Gov. Mark Parkinson earlier in 2010. Kobach is currently opposed by GOP candidate Scott Morgan, of Lawrence, in the Republican primary. If Kobach makes it out of the primary, he will face off against Democrat Jean Schodorf, Wichita.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach plans to defend his stance on voter registration if elected for another term, he said.

Kobach filed for re-election Wednesday, according to a news release. He was elected to the office in 2010, defeating Democrat Chris Biggs, who was appointed by former Gov. Mark Parkinson earlier in 2010. Kobach is currently opposed by GOP candidate Scott Morgan, of Lawrence, in the Republican primary. If Kobach makes it out of the primary, he will face off against Democrat Jean Schodorf, Wichita.

Kobach said if re-elected he will keep defending the Secure and Fair Elections Act, which requires voters to show proof of citizenship before registering to vote for the first time, as well as provide a photo ID to cast a ballot. A similar law was recently struck down by a federal judge in Wisconsin.

“Our Secure and Fair Elections Act has proven to be an outstanding success,” Kobach said. “I will ensure that these security measures stay in place, in contrast to my opponents who will likely try to tear them down.”

According to the release, Kobach has tried to reduce state spending by speaking with business owners, he said. He said he has used no Kansas tax dollars to fund agency expenditures and has rolled back agency spending below 2010 levels. He said he also returned more than $20 million to the state general fund.

“It has been my honor to serve the people of Kansas as secretary of state,” Kobach said. “I have delivered on the promises that I made to Kansans in 2010. Kansans now have the most secure elections in the country.”

Kobach tried to make Kansas the most business friendly state in the country, he said.

“We have simplified and streamlined our business forms, made business documents available online, and are developing a one-stop shop for all business filings in the state,” Kobach said.

Kobach’s GOP opposition sees the state’s current progress a bit differently.

According to the Topeka Capital Journal, Morgan criticized Kobach for being distracted by issues unrelated to the duties of the secretary of state position.

“I believe I’m uniquely qualified for this position and I believe the incumbent, Mr. Kobach neither wants the job, nor is very good at it,” Morgan said, according to the report. “Frankly, he’s become a bully.”

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