Kobach defends use of private email for voter fraud commission business

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday defended his use of a personal email address to conduct business in his role as vice chairman of President Trump’s voter fraud commission, saying that using his Kansas state email would be a “waste of state resources.”

Kobach said in an email to ProPublica that he plans to continue using his personal Gmail account for commission business because he is serving on the panel as a private citizen and not in his official capacity as Kansas secretary of state.

Because Kobach is using a personal email instead of a government account, the emails are not subject to public records requests unless copied or sent to a government account. 


According to ProPublica, in order for members of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to comply with federal records retention laws, they must either use government email accounts, copy a government account on messages sent from a private account or send messages from their private accounts to a government account within 20 days.

In a statement to HuffPost, Samana Poetter, a spokeswoman for Kobach, said commissioners were not issued government email accounts, but were instructed in proper protocol for preserving emails related to commission business.

“Secretary Kobach is serving as Vice Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in his personal capacity. Commission members are considered ‘Special Government Employees’ under federal law,” she said.

“The members of the Commission were never issued federal email accounts, but they received ethics training and were instructed that they could continue to use personal email accounts as long as they ensure that all emails relating to commission business are copied or forwarded to a federal government email account.”

Tags Donald Trump Kris Kobach Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity
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