Official puzzled by Kobach absence from meeting

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – California’s chief elections official is puzzled by the absence of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach from a gathering of elections officials from across the U.S.

Kobach is the co-chair of a White House voter fraud commission that’s investigating allegations made by the President Donald Trump without proof that there were millions of fraudulent ballots cast during last November’s election.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Saturday that it’s “awkward, to put it mildly” that Kobach opted against attending the National Association of Secretaries of State conference in Indianapolis this weekend.

Kobach, a Republican, sent letters last week to all 50 states requesting voter information, including dates of birth, partial Social Security numbers, addresses and voting histories.

The request drew blowback from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Padilla, a Democrat, said that if Kobach was serious about working with states to improve the integrity of U.S. elections, he would have attended the conference.

A spokeswoman for Kobach did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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