WPXI (AP) (May 18, 2017) Kris Kobach, the author of contentious policies on immigration and voter identification, enters his new role as a leader of President Donald Trump’s commission on election fraud by touting evidence of illegal voting he says he uncovered as Kansas’ secretary of state.

Kobach, the nation’s only state elections chief with prosecutorial powers, said he’s not pre-judging what might be happening elsewhere before the commission begins compiling hard data about election fraud. But he has described the situation in Kansas as a significant problem, citing dozens of non-citizens on voter rolls and nine successful prosecutions.

The conservative Republican and former law professor is the architect of tough Kansas laws requiring voters to show ID at the polls and proof of citizenship to register, along with policies in Arizona and elsewhere cracking down on illegal immigration.
He has been advising Trump for months and said he talks to the White House each week. Kobach will serve as the commission’s vice chairman, with Vice President Mike Pence as chairman.

His appointment last week received immediate and vocal criticism. The American Civil Liberties Union filed Freedom of Information requests Thursday with Kobach’s office and its counterparts in Indiana, Maine and New Hampshire, whose elections chiefs will serve on the commission. The group is seeking documents that might show the officials already have been working on policy proposals.
During an interview with The Associated Press, Kobach said he has no “preconceived conclusions” about whether the commission even will make policy recommendations. He said it will also examine allegations about election laws suppressing turnout – as critics charge Kansas’ laws do.

“There are all kinds of assumptions you might come to this issue with, but I’d like to test those assumptions and see if the facts bear them out,” said Kobach, who will remain in his Kansas job while serving on the panel.

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