Another Kris Kobach loss: Illinois leaves ‘Jim Crow’ voter purge program

Even as Kobach is met with loss after loss, his legacy will live on until the states that signed up for Crosscheck leave the program and reinstate voters to the voter rolls.


One by one the network of states signed up to the voter list maintenance program that Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Reverend Joseph Lowery calls “Jim Crow all over again,” have been leaving for less racist pastures.

On Tuesday, according to ABC Heart of Illinois, Illinois State Board of Elections voted unanimously, eight to zero, to leave Kansas’ Interstate Crosscheck. The Illinois General Assembly had previously voted to leave Crosscheck but Republican Governor Rauner vetoed the bill.

To understand more about Crosscheck: Watch this video

Crosscheck Explainer (non-partisan) from Greg Palast on Vimeo.

The new decision came to a head has lawsuits hit the state from Greg Palast and Jesse Jackson and Illinois was looking at joining a voter list maintenance program with Indiana. According to a post on the Illinois State Board of Elections Facebook page, the state could not enter the new agreement until leaving Crosscheck. (No word at this time on why exactly that is, but I will be FOIA’ing info on this new partnership)

Like some sort of white sheeted Don Quixote, tilting at imagined illegal voters, Kris Kobach has been pushing his voter purge program for years. At its height 30 states were signed up, with varying levels of participation.

Along with investigative journalist Greg Palast, NationofChange has been following Kobach’s now stalled career. Last November he was defeated not only at the polls but in the courtroom – being forced to re-educate himself on the legal process after a disastrous lawsuit with the Kansas ACLU. The judge forced Kobach to take a class the basics of civil trials. According to Kobach complied with the mandate by completing the “Civil Trial: Everything You Need to Know” course offered by the National Business Institute.”

As Greg Palast has previously documented in the film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Kobach was once a highly paid attorney who worked for municipalities who wanted to institute tougher anti-immigrant laws much like Arizona’s SB1070. Kobach even spent time working on these cases while working his day job as Secretary of State in Kansas.

In 2018 Kris Kobach ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Kansas, in a close three way race with the Laura Kelly (D) and Greg Norman (I). The Democratic Party candidate, Laura Kelly won – but many say it was likely due to Orman splitting away some of the Republican vote. Kobach has since expressed interest in the soon to be open Senate seat as Sen. Pat Roberts is not seeking another term. Fearing another repeat of 2018, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has called on US Secretary of State Pompeo to leave Trump’s cabinet and run.

Kobach’s name has also been discussed as a possibly successor to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who seems to be leaving in the next couple of weeks. That’s not to say that Kobach hasn’t been busy doing his usual ‘racially charged’ business. He recently signed up with former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince to join the crowdfunding campaign to fund the border wall. Even as the GoFundMe campaign collapsed, Kobach and Prince joined Brian Kolfage to form a new non-profit We Fund The Wall that would raise funds to build the wall without government (or Mexico’s) money.

Kobach told The Daily Beast: “I joined the organization because its mission is of the highest importance to our country, the wall needs to be completed, and it needs to be done as soon as possible. The best way to accomplish that is through a combination of both public and private efforts.”

Even as Kobach is met with loss after loss, his legacy will live on until the states that signed up for Crosscheck leave the program and reinstate voters to the voter rolls.


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