Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s antics grow more ridiculous by the day.
His tireless quest to prove rampant voter fraud that doesn’t exist now involves a former Garden City Community College student.
As a 19-year-old at GCCC, Bailey McCaughey voted in the 2016 presidential election in Finney County without knowing her mother in Colorado already had submitted her mail-in ballot.
Voting for the first time in a presidential election should be a highlight for every American. But it became a nightmare for McCaughey, who’s now accused of criminal acts.
She’s among the latest targets of a self-serving Republican who’s desperate to uncover and prosecute anything — including a scant few honest mistakes among voters in Kansas — to power his crusade.
Unfortunately, a Statehouse dominated by ultraconservatives in 2015 gave Kobach the ability to prosecute voter fraud, even though local prosecutors can handle those rare situations.
The real fraud, meanwhile, is Kobach’s claim of illegal immigrants flooding to the polls.
Kobach and fellow ultraconservatives used the lie to push forward impractical restrictions that hindered many prospective, legal voters.
Low voter turnout often favors candidates on the far right. Ultraconservative policymakers out to gain an edge enacted changes, such as an onerous proof-of-citizenship requirement, that sidelined thousands of would-be voters in Kansas.
The assault on voter rights brought a string of legitimate courtroom challenges. President Trump recently disbanded his useless voter fraud commission, with Kobach as vice chairman, amid multiple lawsuits after Kobach asked for personal information on every U.S. voter.
Undeterred, Kobach — a candidate for governor — sought more attention by filing criminal charges in Kansas against McCaughey and Que Fulmer of Syracuse, a property owner in Hamilton County and Colorado who apparently also double voted due to his own misunderstanding.
The goal should be stepped-up education: more information for people who move from state to state or own property in multiple states, for example.
We also need to make the voting process easier, not harder.
But that wouldn’t serve Kobach’s end game. Rather, he’s out to do what it takes to rig election results in his favor — one of many reasons he’s the most unfit of all candidates running for governor of Kansas.