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House committees considering bills that would repeal secretary of state’s authority to prosecute election crimes

Kansas House committees are considering two bills that would repeal the secretary of state’s authority to prosecute election crimes.

Former Secretary of State Kris Kobach fought to have that authority while he was in the office and was successful in 2015 .  Kobach argued that having the authority to prosecute election crimes would stop what he contended was widespread fraudulent voting by illegal immigrants.

The Wichita Eagle reports that in 3 1/2 years, Kobach prosecuted 10 to 15 cases of voter fraud.  None of the defendants were illegal immigrants.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says Scott Schwab, who replaced Kobach as secretary of state, wants to return to the office’s traditional responsibilities of registering businesses and administering elections. That would return prosecution of voting crimes to state and county prosecutors.

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