Millions of ballots were not illegally cast in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. No number of pronouncements from the president or any of his allies will ever make it otherwise, no matter how desperately the president wants to have won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential race.
The case of one of those who has stuck by the president through his flagrant disregard for reality in this context has now taken a turn to show that willful delusion doesn’t pay. A federal judge has held Kansas Secretary of State and GOP contender for the state’s top office Kris Kobach in contempt of court this Wednesday for his documented refusal to follow a court order concerning the state’s election laws.
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson handed down the ruling after having previously granted the American Civil Liberties Union an injunction against a law demanding proof of citizenship in order to get registered to vote in Kansas. That previous order demanded that the law not be enforced while litigation still proceeded about its fate; Kobach, however, has now been found to have changed nothing in practice in the face of that order.
NBC lists points of the court’s issue with Kobach as including observations that “the state’s election manual was not updated, county election officials were not properly trained to enforce the injunction, and the state had not properly communicated with voters affected by the injunction.”
Voters affected by the injunction include those whose voter registration had been denied because of a failure to provide proof-of-citizenship, whom Judge Robinson had previously ordered the state to register.
As is the case with other restrictive voting laws, the fact that a voter is unable to provide the documentation demanded by Republican authorities does not mean that they shouldn’t actually be permitted to vote. Low income people and members of certain swaths of minority populations tend to be unable to provide the appropriate documentation required by many Republican governmental authorities across the country, but the disenfranchisement of these people is something members of the GOP have proven happy to embrace.
The context of Kobach being held in contempt of court this week isn’t even the only one in which he had faced such a consequence, as NBC notes. The longtime Trump ally was held in contempt of court last year for lying to a court about the contents of a stack of documents he was photographed with while standing next to the president himself.
Kobach has backed up the president in his own continued crusade against voting rights having, for instance, chaired the infamous commission that he set up to investigate his baseless claims of massive voter fraud. That commission never accomplished anything; it was rebuffed by states across the country after requesting data on all of their voters and disbanded after just two official meetings.
Remarkably, even though there remains no evidence that the president’s claims are true, he reiterated his claims about massive voter fraud at a recent roundtable discussion in West Virginia that was supposed to be about tax reform.
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