From May 2017 until January, Kobach led the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a probe convened by the White House to investigate voter fraud. The commission asked election officials in all 50 states to provide it with voter roll data, and White House officials said they wanted to compare that information against federal databases to identify noncitizens and duplicate voters. One of those databases was a Department of Homeland Security directory of noncitizens. Officials communicated with DHS while the panel was operational, and when the probe was disbanded in January, Kobach said DHS could run voter information against federal databases of noncitizens to try and identify noncitizens getting on the voter rolls.
But on Tuesday, during his opening statement in a federal lawsuit challenging a restrictive voting law, Kobach said the federal databases could not adequately identify noncitizens on the voting rolls. He said that a DHS database called Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements was intended to assess eligibility for government benefits ― not to verify citizenship.