Kansas is one of those schizophrenic states that produce movers and shakers on both sides of the aisle, plus a lot of moderates like Bob Dole.
The same state that now has conservative Republican Sam Brownback as governor most recently sent Democrat and former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to Washington, where she pursues nationalized health care and persecution of Catholic hospitals with the same zeal she championed abortion back in the Sunflower State.
The most encouraging news out of Kansas is that the state is taking the lead in cleaning up registration rolls so that people won’t vote in two states or after they’ve died, which is alarming news for Chicago and other cities where the dead vote early and often.
The architect of what is called the Kansas Project, or the Interstate Cross Check Project, is Kris W. Kobach, the Republican Secretary of State who was elected in 2010. Mr. Kobach has set up a database with 14 other states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee. Six more states are considering joining. More information on ballot integrity is at ProtectYourVote.us.
“Double voting is a real common form of voter fraud,” Mr. Kobach told me in a phone interview. “But it’s easy to discover and to prosecute. You have a rock-solid legal case that the crime was committed.”
He noted that Arizona recently found 500 voters still on Arizona’s rolls who are also registered in one of the other 14 states. Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler used the cooperative agreement to turn up several people who had voted in both Colorado and Kansas in 2010.
Kansas itself has the most comprehensive photo ID law in the nation. Voters must show a valid photo ID at the polls and a verified signature and photo ID when registering for absentee ballots. A third requirement – proof of U.S. citizenship – will not be enforced until January 2013. Mr. Kobach had promoted a bill that would have activated that provision before the November elections, but it was killed by GOP Senate President Steve Morris, who assigned the bill to a hostile committee.
Which brings us back to the curious state of Kansas politics. The GOP controls all six statewide constitutional offices and has a supermajority in the Kansas House of Representatives and the Kansas Senate. Republicans also have both U.S. Senate seats and all four U.S. House seats.