Opinion Columns & Blogs

Prevention of fraudulent votes not cause of decrease

Secretary of State Kris Kobach has a point about something: Assessing the impact of Kansas’ voter-ID law by comparing turnout in 2008 and 2012 is problematic, because the latter saw no Senate race. Yet that’s what the U.S. Government Accountability Office did in a study released last week finding that turnout in Kansas and Tennessee decreased more between 2008 and 2012 than in certain other states that didn’t make voter-ID changes between those election years. But Kobach was stretching it to suggest to the GAO that “if lower overall turnout occurs after implementation of a photo-ID law, some of the decrease may be attributable to the prevention of fraudulent votes.” And rather than get so worked up over claims that his unneeded voter restrictions are suppressing turnout, the secretary of state should work harder to ensure they don’t. – Rhonda Holman