A federal judge held Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), the former vice chairman of the Trump voter fraud commission, in contempt of court on Wednesday for failing to uphold the voting rights of residents who were blocked from registering to vote in the 2016 presidential election.
In a court order, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson tore into Kobach for failing to send postcards notifying thousands of voters of their registration.
Robinson said Kobach had failed to comply with a 2016 preliminary injunction order blocking a Kansas law requiring people to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote, a decision that affected roughly 18,000 people whose registrations were being held in response. Robinson had instructed Kobach to make sure those voters were fully registered. Kobach assured her that he would and that he would send out postcards to any affected voter.
“Kansans have come to expect these postcards to confirm their registration status, and Defendant ensured the Court on the record that they had been sent prior to the 2016 general election,” Robinson wrote in her order.
“They were not, and the fact that he sent a different notice to those voters does not wholly remove the contempt, nor does his attempt to resend postcards eighteen months after the election and five months after Plaintiffs notified him of the issue.”
According to HuffPost:
More than a year and a half later, the ACLU filed a motion to hold Kobach in contempt, saying he had failed to send out the postcards and update the county election manual to reflect Robinson’s 2016 order. In a contentious hearing, Kobach said his office had orally instructed county clerks to send out the postcards, but could not force them to do anything. Robinson was furious, saying that Kobach had assured her in court that he would send out the postcards.
Robinson imposed sanctions on Kobach on Wednesday, saying he had to pay the ACLU for attorneys fees and that “any further remedial measures” would be decided when she ruled on the merits of the case.