The voter-fraud crusaders who run President Trump’s electoral-integrity commission have found their holy grail: evidence that large-scale illegal voting swung a pivotal Senate election in 2016.
In his latest column for Breitbart News, Kris Kobach, the commission’s vice chairman, called it “highly likely” that the election of Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire’s Democratic candidate for the Senate, was “stolen through voter fraud.” He said it was “possible” that Hillary Clinton’s narrow victory in the state was the result of illegal voting, too.
Mr. Kobach’s evidence for these explosive claims? “Proof,” he says, that 5,313 people who voted in New Hampshire in 2016 do not actually reside in the state. The theory, which has been hawked by Mr. Trump himself, is that these voters sneaked over the border — or were even bussed in! — from neighboring Democratic strongholds like Massachusetts or Vermont, in a huge conspiracy to swing the election.
That scheme had national implications, Mr. Kobach wrote — the Senate failed to repeal Obamacare by one vote.
And he wonders why serious people don’t take him seriously.
In his day job as Kansas’ secretary of state, where he plays the “Javert of voter fraud,” Mr. Kobach complains that the media’s response to his efforts to safeguard America’s elections is a dismissive, “Move along, there’s nothing to see here.” So let’s stop and take a closer look.
Also apparently true: Data given to the commission by the speaker of the state’s House showed that 6,540 people registered to vote there on Election Day using an out-of-state ID.
Under state law, new residents have 60 days to get a New Hampshire driver’s license. Yet of those 6,540 people, Mr. Kobach said, 5,526 have not done so. Of those, only 213 have registered a vehicle in the state, leaving 5,313 voters who are not, as Mr. Kobach put it, “bona fide residents of the state.”
Busted, right? Not quite. In his hunger to expose fraudulent voters, Mr. Kobach omitted a few important details. New Hampshire law does not require people to be “residents” to register and vote. They must only be “domiciled” in the state, meaning that New Hampshire is where they currently live and spend most of their time — a description that applies, incidentally, to many college students. In 2016, the towns with the highest rates of voters who registered using out-of-state IDs were all home to college campuses.
Mr. Kobach didn’t say whether he had attempted to contact any of the supposed scofflaws, but The Washington Post did. The first four it reached identified themselves as college students who lived in New Hampshire last November.
Vice President Mike Pence, the commission’s chairman, said in July that the commission had “no preconceived notions or preordained results.” That was never credible. It’s laughable now, as Mr. Kobach spouts his latest, wildly irresponsible accusations based on an inaccurate reading of the data and the law.
Rather than admit his obvious biases, Mr. Kobach carps that “the mainstream media has ignored the problem of voter fraud and belittled those of us who are trying to do something about it.” The truth is that Mr. Kobach and his band of vote suppressors belittle themselves, and threaten voting rights nationwide, with their dishonesty.
In a convenient stroke of timing, the commission will hold its second public hearing in New Hampshire on Tuesday. The topic is voter confidence in electoral integrity — amusing coming from the people who’ve done their utmost to undermine that confidence with baseless allegations.