voter fraud

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A bill in the Kansas Legislature would allow people to register to vote and cast a ballot the same day, a move supporters say would increase voter turnout but that opponents say raises concerns about fraud.

Same-day registration is allowed in 10 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Under current Kansas law, voters have to be registered at least 21 days before an election.

Carla Eckels

Secretary of State Kris Kobach is proposing to have Kansas counties audit voting results immediately after the state's primary and general elections.

Kobach outlined a measure Monday that would require all counties to manually audit 1 percent of their election returns, starting with state elections in 2018. The Kansas House Elections Committee agreed to sponsor his proposal as a bill.

The Republican secretary of state said the measure is a response to calls for his office to allow private parties to audit election equipment. He said state law doesn't currently allow it.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will pursue three more cases of voter fraud for alleged double voting. Kobach discussed the cases during a meeting at the Statehouse yesterday.

The three new cases come from Johnson, Ellis and Sedgwick Counties. In all three, the people are accused of voting more than once in an election.

Democratic state Rep. Tom Sawyer told Kobach that it doesn’t seem like voter fraud to him if someone voted twice when they thought they could and didn’t have criminal intent. Kobach says it’s important to prosecute the crimes.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A Kansas judge has ruled that Secretary of State Kris Kobach has no legal right to bar people who register to vote using a federal form from voting in local and state elections.

Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis ruled Friday in favor of two Kansas voters who challenged how Kobach is enforcing a state proof-of-citizenship requirement for registering to vote.

File photo

Secretary of State Kris Kobach is planning to unveil his office’s first charges of voter fraud soon.

Lawmakers last session gave Kobach’s office the power to prosecute voter fraud. Kobach said in a recent interview that it will have to be soon, because some possible violations his office is investigating occurred during the 2010 election.

Sedgwickcounty.org

A mathematician at Wichita State University who wanted to check the accuracy of some Kansas voting machines after finding odd patterns in election returns is finding out how difficult it can be to get government officials to turn over public documents.

Carla Eckels

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday they won't hear a lawsuit that looked to add proof of citizenship requirements to federal registration forms in both Kansas and Arizona.

U.S. Dept. of Justice [Public domain] / Wikimedia Commons

The Senate has also advanced Secretary of State Kris Kobach's proposal to give his office the power to prosecute election fraud cases.

But debate on the measure exposed a split among Republicans who control the Legislature.

The Senate gave the bill first-round approval on a voice vote.

It's expected to pass in a final vote today and go to the House.

Kobach says county prosecutors are usually too busy to pursue election fraud cases.

But critics say there's not enough election fraud to justify such a move.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers are urging a federal appeals court to overturn a decision by U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren. They say it will limit the authority of Congress to regulate federal elections.

They made a friend-of-the-court filing last week at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals...in a lawsuit filed by Kansas and Arizona to force federal elections officials to let those states impose their proof-of-citizenship requirements on federal voter registration forms used by residents of their states.

Kansas and Arizona say they have a sovereign right to require proof of citizenship for voting residents of their states, even for federal elections.

The two states urged the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday to lift the emergency stay it issued last week.

The appeals court had halted a ruling from U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren, whose ruling required the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to modify its federal voter registration form for Kansas and Arizona residents.

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