‘Crosscheck’ System Shuttered After Wrongly Tagging Legal Voters

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's voter database has generated thousands of "false positive" duplicate registrations. Some states want to use to system to remove voters from their registration rolls.

Here’s a bit of good news to start the weekend, particularly for those of us concerned about and working to protect every eligible American’s right to vote.

Interstate Crosscheck, a national voter-tracking system that in multiple states has been part of official efforts to push legally-qualified voters off the rolls or keep them from casting ballots, has at least temporarily been shut down.

KMUW, a National Public Radio station in Wichita, KN, reports that the system was turned off this week “over concerns about its own accuracy and security.” Rampant evidence of Crosscheck’s problems prompted a federal judge in Indiana earlier this month to bar officials there from using the system to verify the qualifications of prospective voters.

Crosscheck collects voter lists from election officials in participating states and loads them into a database to search for duplicate registrations. It’s the brainchild of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has tried to sign up his counterparts across the country. The system has been found to generate thousands of “false positives” – apparent duplicates that turn out to be valid registrations.

Apart perhaps from President Trump, Kobach is the nation’s most vocal proponent of totally unsupported claims that millions of people are voting illegally in elections across the U.S. He was vice chairman of an “election integrity” commission created and later disbanded by the Trump administration last year to look for evidence backing up the president’s claim that up to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election.

The commission was shuttered amid a rebellion by state election officials over a Kobach-authored request that they share personal information about millions of voters contained in registration records. Like previous official and scholarly reviews of election systems across the country, it found no substantial evidence of voter fraud.

The Crosscheck shutdown culminated a week of bad news for Kobach, who also is seeking the Republican nomination for governor. On Monday, a federal judge in Kansas struck down a Kobach-authored state law requiring prospective Kansas voters to provide documentary proof of their citizenship when they register to vote. The state requirement exceeded that included in the National Voter Registration Act and the judge said it “may have the inadvertent effect of eroding, instead of maintaining confidence in the electoral system.

The judge also ordered Kobach, a lawyer who represented himself in the lawsuit challenging the proof-of-citizenship law, to complete six hours of refresher legal training on trial procedures. Kobach repeatedly violated court rules during the trial, the judge said, despite her repeated warnings.