Previously, on Keeping Up With Kris Kobach:
[Pan to campaign headquarters, tighten on TV]
News Anchor: It is still too close to call here in the Sunflower State, with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Gov. Jeff Colyer neck-and-neck in this heated Republican gubernatorial primary. It looks like nothing will be decided tonight, and we will likely have to wait to count those provisional and mail-in ballots.
[Transition to Kobach in a confessional]
Kobach: I don’t know, I just feel really good about my chances. I absolutely deserve it. Do you know how much energy it takes to maintain passion and keep writing speeches about a voter fraud issue that literally does not exist? And I don’t know what it is, just something in the air…I just really feel like I got this.
[Switch to Colyer]
Colyer: He is literally the one who heads the office that tallies the ballots and sets the price of a recount?? How is this fair at all?
Kobach: Wait, what’s he saying? He just doesn’t understand the system. I’m the Kansas secretary of state, for cryin’ out loud, I don’t dirty my own hands with those grimy little ballots! I just tell people how to count them for me. I mean I guess if he really wants me to recuse myself as well, but it seems like an extreme overreaction.
Colyer: Yes, I absolutely want him to recuse himself, I honestly can’t believe I have to say it.
Kobach: [Hastily stuffing ballots into coat pockets] Sorry, what was the question?
The above is a dramatization — but only just. This week, Kobach took us on an ethically dizzying rollercoaster ride as he and Colyer finished just 191 votes apart in the Republican Kansas gubernatorial election primary Tuesday night.
Though Kobach’s position as secretary of state may not specifically dictate that he is personally involved in the counting of the ballots, there is something extremely fishy about his multi-day reluctance to just recuse himself and avoid all appearances of impropriety.
To compound that weirdness, on Thursday, it was revealed that the office Kobach heads gave him 100 more votes than it ought to have. Thomas County Clerk Shelly Harms confirmed that the secretary of state’s office gave Colyer only 422 voters from the county on Election Day when he actually earned 522. May sound like pennies, but it shrank Kobach’s lead to 91 votes.
On top of that, Harms came to a startling conclusion about the mistake: she double checked the scan that the county had sent to Kobach’s office—522 votes for Colyer. It was only at the secretary of state’s office that the vote total somehow got altered. Harms added that her handwriting may be to blame for the mistake.
But, Friday afternoon, after Colyer poked around the Kansas statehouse for more “misplaced ballots,” he went on Fox News and accused Kobach of instructing counties to not count some legitimate mail-in ballots. In an incredible understatement, he said that he’s not “entirely comfortable” with the rest of the vote tallying. No kidding.
We don’t want to jump to any conclusions here. Admittedly, we don’t know for sure that the Case of The Mysterious Voter Disenfranchisement was not accidental. And we don’t know if Colyer’s claims are true. But what we do know is that for someone keen on fabricating voter fraud by scapegoating undocumented immigrants, Kobach is pretty loosey goosey with the integrity of his own election.
After traveling up and down the country, setting up a bogus committee backed by bogus research to attack undocumented immigrants for messing with our elections, Kobach, if not actively tampering with the his own race, is at least putting up a really good show of it.
For hating voter fraud so much that he conducts weekend seminars to teach ballot counters to smudge 5s into 4s, Kris Kobach is our duke of the week.
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