Kobach Sued Over Proof-of-Citizenship Requirement
September 30, 2015

AP) – Two Kansas residents have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s proof-of-citizenship requirement for new voters and plans to remove people who haven’t complied from voter registration rolls.
The two residents of Douglas County in northeast Kansas filed the lawsuit Wednesday against Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Kobach is the architect of a law requiring people registering for the first time in Kansas to document their U.S. citizenship.
He enacted a regulation requiring county election officials to purge voter rolls of registrations incomplete for more than 90 days. It takes effect Friday.
Prospective voters Alder Cromwell and Cody Keener sought to register months ago but haven’t met the proof-of-citizenship requirement.
They’re seeking a court order to block the purge and the proof-of-citizenship requirement.
Kobach’s office had yet to review it.

Kansas Proof of Citizenship to Vote Law Challenged Again
January 18, 2014

(AP) – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has rejected requests by Kansas, Arizona and Georgia to modify federal registration forms to allow their states to fully implement their proof-of-citizen voting laws.

The decision late Friday comes just hours before a court-imposed deadline in a lawsuit filed by Kansas and Arizona. Georgia is not part of that litigation but has a similar requirements.

The federal agency found that granting the states’ requests would likely hinder eligible citizens from registering to vote in federal elections.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach has pushed his state’s proof-of-citizenship law to keep non-citizens from voting particularly those in the U.S. illegally. But critics say voter fraud is extremely rare and contend such laws suppress the vote and threaten to keep thousands of citizens from casting ballots. The registrations of 20,127 Kansans remained on hold Friday because they’ve not yet provided proof of their citizenship to election officials.

The court is expected to set an evidentiary hearing to take up the states’ request that the judge force the commission to modify their form.

Melgren said last month he has serious reservations about the federal government’s power to rule on the voter registration issue. Regardless of how the judge ultimately rules in the case, the issue is likely to be appealed.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Arizona could not refuse to accept the national voter registration form, even though people who use it aren’t required to provide citizenship documents.

Kobach has said that if he cannot get either the commission or Melgren to modify the federal registration form with state-specific requirements, he would institute a dual registration that limits Kansans who register with the federal form to voting only in presidential, U.S. Senate and congressional races.

A separate American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit contends Kobach has no authority to create a dual registration system in Kansas.

Several Democratic lawmakers in Kansas have proposed rewriting or repealing the state’s proof-of-citizenship law. Former state Sen. Jean Schodorf, the expected Democratic challenger for Kobach, is calling on legislators to audit how Kobach’s office has administered the law.

ACLU Sues Kansas, Says Kobach Creating “Two-Tiered” Voting System
November 22, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the state of Kansas and Secretary of State Kris Kobach Thursday over what the ACLU called “separate and unequal” classes of voters, violating the state constitution’s guarantee for equal protection.
The issue centers around the way Secretary of State Kobach is registering voters in Kansas.
Kansas requires voters who register to provide proof of US citizenship.
The US Supreme ruled this summer voters not not have prove documents that prove they are citizens when they register. they are, however, required to swear under oath the are legal citizens or risk perjury penalties.
Kobach and the state are registering some voters who sign up at motor vehicle offices–are not using the state form–to be registered only for federal elections, not state contests.
The ACLU says that creates an illegal two-tiered voting system.
“It makes absolutely no sense that someone would be qualified to vote for president, but not for governor,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a news release.
Kobach called the lawsuit a surprise, not because he didn’t expect an ACLU challenge, but because he says he, too, does not want the split voting system.
“They’re filing to stop the very thing I want to stop as well, which is a two-tiered voting system,” Kobach told the website POLITICO. “The suit incorrectly states that Kansas is implementing the system based on memos sent out to counties to make contingency plans for it.”
The ACLU has been threatening to sue Kansas over the issue for some time.
Kobach says the two-tiered system will only be put into place if Kansas and Arizona loses its lawsuit over the clash between the state and federal forms.
According to the latest estimates about almost 18,000 Kansans have their voting rights suspended while the dispute is is being worked through.
Many of those suspended voters may live in the state’s largest counties. Those are Johnson and Wyandotte counties in suburban Kansas City and Sedgwick County, which contains the city of Wichita.