Kris Kobach Behind Policy That Excluded The Disabled From Voting

Image courtesy of the ACLU

Kobach's law disenfranchised 23 disabled voters in a recent election, more than enough to alter the outcome.

A Kansas law pushed by the man heading President Trump's election fraud commission resulted in the disenfranchisement of disabled people during a recent local election.

The disenfranchisement occurred in Sedgwick County and was a direct result of a law pushed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a member of Trump’s voter fraud commission, which requires disabled voters' signatures on their ballot envelopes. Until Kobach's Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act passed in 2011, ballots were not tossed if a disabled person's signature did not exactly match one on file or if someone else signed on behalf of a physically unable voter.

Newsweek reports that with a total of just 24,120 votes cast, 23 votes would have been more than enough to alter the outcome.

"If you're a person with quadriplegia or a senior and don't have the same ability to mark a ballot as you did when you were younger," the ballot would be thrown out, Rocky Nichols, executive director of the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, told Newsweek. "It's really a problem for people with disabilities. We need to get it fixed."

There has been little evidence of voter fraud in the U.S. and none that would point to the problem occurring on a wide scale. The same applied to Kansas when Kobach used the notion to support SAFE Act.

Trump convened his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in May to come up with evidence that millions of noncitizens voted in the 2016 election. The panel, led by Kobach, requested voter information from all 50 states but faces multiple lawsuits and will not meet for the remainder of this year.