Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Wednesday confirmed his office obtained its first conviction of a noncitizen who illegally voted in an election.
Victor David Garcia Bebek, a Peruvian national who only became a U.S. citizen in 2017, pleaded guilty to voter fraud for casting ballots in the 2012 special election, as well as the 2012 and 2014 general elections.
Following his naturalization ceremony this year, Bebek was offered the chance to register to vote.
“This gentleman did so, and then when the Sedgwick County election office went back to the office to enter his information, they found that he had been on the voter rolls since 2011,” Kobach, a Republican, told the Kansas City Star.
Bebek will have to pay a $5,000 fine and serve unsupervised probation for up to three years.
Kansas this week did something that almost never happens: It convicted a non-citizen for voting.
Victor David Garcia Bebek pleaded guilty to voter fraud after admitting that he registered to vote in 2011, according to The Kansas City Star.
“This is the tip of the iceberg. Few people are willing to take a closer look to see. The reality is that our system and our polls are as porous as our borders.”
It is the first time that Kansas has successfully prosecuted a non-citizen for voting. The case is an anomaly across the country. Prosecution for voter fraud is rare in general; cases involving non-citizens casting ballots are even more unusual.
But the reasons for that are hotly debated. The Left generally argues that such cases are rare because the activity, itself, is uncommon. But advocates for voter integrity maintain that the electoral system simply is not designed to catch fraudulent voting.
“This is the tip of the iceberg,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote. “Few people are willing to take a closer look to see. The reality is that our system and our polls are as porous as our borders.”
In the Kansas case, Secretary of State Kris Kobach told The Kansas City Star that Bebek voted illegally three times — in a 2012 special election and in the 2012 and 2014 general elections. At the time, he was a Peruvian immigrant living in Sedgwick County. After he became a citizen earlier this year, voter-registration officials signing him up to vote discovered he already had been on the rolls since 2011.
“No matter how many cases we prosecute, the political Left will always whine that there’s not enough cases to justify protecting our elections in this way,” Kobach told the paper. “That’s absurd.”
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