voter ID laws

A Kansas county elections official used close ties to one of the nation's leading advocates of voting restrictions to help secure the top job at a government agency entrusted with making voting more accessible, and then used the federal position to implement an obstacle to voter registration in three states.

Ho John Lee / Flickr

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's proof-of-citizenship rule is in play again, shortly after the federal registration form was changed.

The federal Justice Department has refused to support a U.S. elections official who sided with Kansas, Alabama and Georgia in a fight over whether voters should have to show proof of citizenship when registering using a national form.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The American Civil Liberties Union says Kansas is violating federal law by requiring new voters to prove their citizenship when registering to vote at the DMV.

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit arguing that the state's requirements are blocking people from registering.

Micah Kubic, with the ACLU of Kansas, says they’re asking the court to block the proof-of-citizenship requirement at DMV offices.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Elections Office has received instructions from the Kansas Secretary of State’s office to adhere to a new voting rule put in place last week.

The decision was made by the new executive director of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.

According to the Secretary of State's office, the decision means Kansas residents can no longer register to vote using a federal form without providing proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

In most other states, no such documentation is needed to register; voters need only sign a sworn statement.

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.

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.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

An effort to repeal a controversial law requiring proof of citizenship before voting in Kansas elections is being challenged further.

The lawsuit, originally filed by Lawrence attorney and former state Rep. Paul Davis on behalf of two Lawrence residents, challenges the constitutionality of the 2013 Kansas law requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship when registering.

Bloomsberries, flickr Creative Commons

Lawyers for two northeast Kansas voters have temporarily withdrawn a request for a court order blocking the state from enforcing registration restrictions.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson canceled a hearing scheduled Friday in the federal lawsuit after the request was withdrawn Thursday.

Kansas has seen its number of incomplete voter registrations decline by nearly 6,700 in less than two weeks as counties follow a directive from Secretary of State Kris Kobach to cull their records.

Kobach's office said Tuesday that the state had about 31,000 incomplete registrations as of Tuesday, compared to about 37,700 when the Republican secretary of state's directive took effect on Oct. 2. The decline is nearly 18 percent.

File photo

Staff in Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office say they have filed criminal charges related to voting crimes. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, these are the first three cases brought by the by secretary of state after his office was granted the power to prosecute.

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