Kansas unusual in giving elections chief power to prosecute

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- Kansas is unique among U.S. states in recently granting its top Elections Official the power to prosecute alleged voting irregularities himself.

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach is looking to move a contentious national debate past tough voter identification laws.

Kobach's office earlier this month filed three election fraud cases in two counties, accusing the defendants of illegally voting in Kansas while casting ballots in the same elections in other states.

The law granting Kobach's office the authority to do so took effect in July.

It's not yet clear whether other states will follow Kansas' example, but Alabama's secretary of state broached the subject with top lawmakers in his state earlier this year.

The Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature took four years to expand the power of Kobach's office.