The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Kris Kobach says he has ‘proof’ of voter fraud in New Hampshire. He can’t be serious.

Kris Kobach, Kansass secretary of state, arrives to a meeting on the election in Washington on July 19. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Writing in a paid column for far-right political media website, Kris Kobach, the vice chair of President Trump's commission on so-called voter fraud, asserted that he now has “proof” that “out-of-staters take advantage of New Hampshire’s same-day registration and head to the Granite State to cast fraudulent votes.”

According to Kobach, that proof comes in the form of 6,450 voters in New Hampshire who registered to vote on the day of the 2016 election using an out-of-state drivers license. Data from the New Hampshire secretary of state (who is also a member of Trump's voter fraud commission) shows that 5,526 of those voters had not subsequently obtained a New Hampshire driver's license by Aug. 30.

To Kobach, that suggests were never actually residents of New Hampshire, and hence cast their votes illegally.

In fact, there's a far simpler explanation: Most of those voters were college students from out of state, who are perfectly allowed to register and vote in New Hampshire under state law — with or without a New Hampshire driver's license.

New Hampshire Public Radio did an investigation into this very question back in February. They received data on 5,903 same-day registrants with out-of-state licenses from the secretary of state's office.

Over 4,000 of them resided in college towns, suggesting they were simply out-of-state college students. The remainder were spread more or less evenly across the state.

Subsequent reporting appears to confirm this. On Thursday night, The Post's Dave Weigel put out a call for same-day New Hampshire voters with out-of-state driver's licenses to tell their stories. He heard from three of them — college students from out-of-state — within an hour.

According to New Hampshire law, college students may register to vote either in the town where they're attending school, or in their home town. A New Hampshire driver's license is not a requirement for registration or voting in either case. Proof of residency may be established by government photo ID or “any other proof accepted as reasonable” by elections officials, including “forms issued by your college or university.”

According to Kris Kobach, the prevalence of out-of-state drivers' licenses is “proof” of widespread voter fraud. In reality, it means nothing.