Critics Charge Kobach’s Voter Law is Voter Repression
September 2, 2015

AP) – An American Civil Liberties Union attorney says Kansas law doesn’t give Secretary of State Kris Kobach the authority to remove thousands of names from the state’s voter registration rolls.
And another critic accused the Republican secretary of state Wednesday of trying to keep potential Democratic voters from casting ballots, which Kobach’s spokesman disputed.
ACLU of Kansas attorney Doug Bonney and Topeka National Organization for Women leader Sonja Willms said during a hearing that Kobach should drop a proposed administrative rule.
The rule would require county election officials to cancel incomplete registrations after 90 days. About 36,000 registrations are now incomplete. Most are because prospective votes have failed to document their U.S. citizenship.
Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell said the rule would make administering voting more orderly

ACLU to Challenge Kansas Voting Law in Court
August 14, 2013

(AP)–The American Civil Liberties Union notified Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday that it intends to file a federal lawsuit over a state law requiring new voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship unless the state removes “bureaucratic hurdles” to their registrations.

Kobach called the threat “no surprise” and promised that the state would continue enforcing the requirement.

The ACLU informed Kobach in a letter that it considers Kansas in violation of a federal election law requiring states to allow people to register to vote at their driver’s license offices. While federal law allows groups and individuals to sue states over federal voting requirements, they must give states 90 days’ notice and an opportunity to correct problems.

The Kansas proof-of-citizenship requirement took effect in January. The secretary of state’s office says more than 14,000 voters’ registrations are in “suspense” because they filled out registration forms but election officials haven’t yet received a birth certificate, passport or other acceptable document. Without such proof, ballots they had cast wouldn’t be legally valid.

“They will be denied the right to vote,” said Doug Bonney, legal director for the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. “The right to vote is the way we protect all other rights.”

Kobach is the architect of the proof-of-citizenship rule and argues that it prevents fraudulent ballots from being cast by non-citizens, including immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

He declined to grant interviews because of the threat of a lawsuit but said in a statement that “organizations on the Left” have made their opposition to such a requirement “clear from the start.”

And, in an Associated Press interview earlier this month, Kobach said having a pool of voters whose registrations are in limbo is “a natural part” of the new law, because Kansas opted to allow people to fill out registration forms and present citizenship papers later. He said the state is being “permissive” in administering the requirement.

“No one’s vote is suppressed,” he said. “If that’s suppressing a vote, then so is having registration in the first place.”