TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proposal to give his office the power to prosecute election fraud cases has won the state Senate’s approval.
Senators passed a bill containing Kobach’s plan on a 23-17 vote Wednesday. The measure goes next to the House.
The vote exposed a split among Kobach’s fellow Republicans. Nine GOP senators joined all eight Democrats in the chamber in voting against the bill.
Kobach is the architect of laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls and proof of U.S. citizenship when they register for the first time.
He says county prosecutors are usually too busy to pursue election fraud cases. But critics say there’s not enough election fraud to justify such a move.
The measure also boosts the penalties for election crimes.
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