High Plains Public Radio

KU Prof and Kobach Wrangle over Voter ID Law

Sep 18, 2015

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, right, gets questioned by George Misdary of Lenexa after participating in a voter ID law debate with Kansas Law School professor Mark Johnson, Thursday afternoon at the KU School of Law.
Credit Chris Neal / Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas adopted a voter ID mandate in 2011, requiring all voters in the state to show a picture ID. But not everyone is pleased with the measure, notes The Topeka Capital-Journal. Last week a law professor from the University of Kansas and Secretary of State Kris Kobach clashed over the measure. The two sharply disagreed over the likelihood that illegal immigrants would come out of hiding and risk arrest in order to vote.

Professor Mark Johnson called the alleged phenomenon of people in the country illegally trying to vote a “red herring.” Kobach, however, insisted that undocumented individuals often try to vote illegally.

Skeptics of the reform agenda have accused Kobach of trying to make voting more difficult for certain groups. These include the elderly, the poor and minority voters—demographics often aligned with the Democratic Party.