Kris Kobach's credentials as an illegal immigration consultant and voting rights expert are under challenge. In one case after another, the U.S. Supreme Court is knocking down his misguided attempts to disenfranchise the human rights of non-Americans and civil rights of American citizens.
But if Kobach moonlights for groups in other states despite his track record, that is their own business.
We are much more concerned with his performance in his primary place of employment -- being secretary of state for the great state of Kansas. Kobach's shortcomings here are inexcusable, although he offers many.
For example, his belief that "even one alien voting is too many" led to almost 20,000 Kansas citizens losing the right to vote in all elections. There had been dozens of reported instances of possible voter fraud during the past 20 years, yet not a single conviction. But the mere fear of one undocumented immigrant attempting to vote led to Kobach authoring one of the nation's strictest voter ID laws. This, too, will be tossed out for its unconstitutionality, but it is state law for Tuesday's election. Some registered voters who can take part in national elections will not be able to participate in this state election.
In an attempt to keep Democrats from participating in Republican primaries, Kobach pushed through a law that prohibits Kansans from switching declared parties for approximately three months every other year. The secretary of state also tried to become the only such official in the country with prosecutorial powers, but even the solidly conservative state Senate couldn't go along with that one.
Leading up to this election, Kobach placed his allegiance to fellow GOP candidates above his constitutionally described duties of office by meddling with the U.S. Senate race. He did not want Democrat Chad Taylor to disappear from the ballot, so he attempted various techniques to help his preferred candidate Sen. Pat Roberts. It took the Kansas Supreme Court to remove Kobach's interference.
Kansans deserve a secretary of state whose priority is the people's business. That isn't Kris Kobach.
It is Jean Schodorf. The former state senator and lifelong Republican who was targeted by Kobach, the governor and others because of her moderate common sense, switched parties in order to run in this race.
Schodorf will return professionalism to the office of secretary of state. She will be an impartial referee of state elections, as the job description calls for, not be an active participant attempting to influence the outcomes. She will treat all Kansans fairly, as they should be able to count on. Discrimination and voter-suppression efforts will become a part of the past.
Schodorf wants to represent only Kansas as secretary of state. She will simplify the current broken voter registration system, and ensure the office is a one-stop shop for the business needs of Kansas.
That is what the office is supposed to be. It should not be a place for political mischief.
We wholeheartedly support Jean Schodorf for secretary of state. She deserves your vote in Tuesday's general election.
Editorial by Patrick Lowry