This is my assessment of Kobach’s response to my lawsuit seeking voting machine records. I’ll be writing about Tabitha Lehman’s response in a separate post.
Paragraphs 1 through 8 seem to be a litany of complaints about how I done the law stuff wrong. I have no clue how to respond to those. Thankfully, with all the publicity I’ve received, I have had some offers of free legal advice. I will be taking people up on those offers of help.
Paragraph 9 is a claim that he has no authority to direct Tabitha Lehman, his co-defendant, in regard to either control of or access to those records. Since both he and Ms. Lehman are in agreement about that aspect, and if the judge concurs, I have no objection to dismissing Mr. Kobach as a defendant to this lawsuit although I am a little puzzled as to why, as SOS, he would have no jurisdiction over these records.
I’m also puzzled about why, if that is the case, he didn’t respond with a motion to dismiss him as defendant? That’s what Mr. Schmidt, our attorney general, did when I originally filed this case on Feb 2nd naming him as the defendant. I was grateful the judge was willing to allow me to refile with a different defendant. Unfortunately, neither the judge nor the opposing counsel could tell me who was the proper defendant. I was advised by a lawyer sympathetic to my case to file against both Kobach and Lehman, hopefully hitting the correct target with one of them. Apparently correct defendant is Tabitha Lehman, so even if I fail with this case, I’ve learned that much.
Paragraph 10 discusses K.S.A. 25-2422. Note the final clause of the first sentence “except as ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction“. I presume the Sedgwick County Court is the court with proper jurisdiction. This law is why I have been forced to file suit. If this court sees fit to grant me access to those records, then the law allows it. It is not a crime for me to see them.
Paragraph 11 references my previous lawsuit, in 2013, to gain access to these records for the 2010 election for precinct 208.
Paragraph 12 Kobach claims that this case is the same and therefore, the same outcome is already determined. I hope the judge will consider this lawsuit materially different with respect to the main reason given for denial of my previous case. The judge declined my petition in 2013 citing concern about voter privacy, because if any citizen could gain access to the records of any specific precinct, it could potentially be used to compromise the privacy of the voting booth.
This case is different because I am asking for permission to study a random sample of voting stations, not a specific precinct. Ms. Lehman is welcome to provide the seed to generate the random sample thereby guaranteeing the sample could not be determined in advance. This will preserve voter privacy.
I am asking the judge to grant me, with my academic and professional credentials, access to these records to conduct a study without setting a precedent of the records being available to anyone who asks for any reason. The judge can, of course, set appropriate criteria for the access in order to maintain the security and integrity of those records. I can work with Ms. Lehman and her staff to minimize the cost and disruption to her office if this access is allowed.
Paragraphs 13 through 15 comprise another litany of complaints about how I done the law stuff wrong. He’s likely right about all or most of the legal technicalities. Hopefully, I can get a lawyer to look this stuff over and help me respond correctly.
Then at the bottom, “WHEREFORE, answering Defendant Secretary of State pray that the court deny the relief requested, that he have costs herein, and such other and further relief as deemed just and reasonable in the premises.”
As I read this, Kris Kobach is saying, “No, don’t let her see those records and please let me bill her for the trouble she’s caused me.” He is a sweetheart, ain’t he!