voter registration

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County election officials are looking at the names on their suspended voter list. Secretary of State Kris Kobach has ruled that any names that are still listed after 90 days must be removed.

Stephen Koranda

County election officials in Kansas are beginning to implement a new rule that cancels incomplete voter registrations after 90 days. The rule faces a legal challenge, but a court last week declined to put it on hold. The secretary of state’s office recommends registrations that have now been incomplete for more than 90 days be canceled.

Wikimedia Commons

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is pushing a plan to cancel voter registrations if they aren’t completed within 90 days. Kansas law requires people registering to vote for the first time to prove their citizenship, and more than 30,000 voter registrations are on hold because they don't include the documents. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, a hearing Wednesday will give the public a chance to weigh in on the plan.

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

Kansans who registered to vote using a federal form without providing citizenship documentation will still not be able to vote in state elections despite the latest U.S. Supreme Court action.

The justices on Monday rejected an appeal from Republican officials in Kansas and Arizona who have sought to have federal elections officials enforce state laws requiring new voters to submit a birth certificate, passport or other papers documenting U.S. citizenship.

This week, a 92-year-old Johnson County woman had her voter registration approved by the Kansas State Election Board.

A law that took effect last year says people who register for the first time in Kansas must provide proof of citizenship. Her voter registration was initially put on hold because she doesn't have any of the required documents. 

As Stephen Koranda reports, this situation illustrates a political divide over the law. Some people say it's a hindrance, others say it secures elections and has protections built in for Kansans who don't have the documents.

Updated on 8/27/14:

Only one Kansan who registered using the federal voter form without proof of citizenship actually cast a ballot in the Aug. 5 primaries.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach said yesterday that of the 180 Kansans who used the federal registration form without providing documentation, only one of them voted - in Johnson County. Under the state's dual system, only their votes cast in the federal races would be counted.

A federal appeals court in Denver is suggesting that a partisan impasse in Congress may prevent Kansas and Arizona from getting federal elections officials to help them impose proof-of-citizenship requirements on voter registration forms.

The three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted that Congress has not confirmed commissioners to sit on the Elections Assistance Commission. That body's staff refused to include Kansas and Arizona's instructions on its voter registration form, triggering a federal lawsuit.

Carla Eckels

The primary election is underway in Sedgwick County. Polls open at 6:00 a.m. Residents will be able to cast their ballots along the two major party lines.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says voters who already belong to a political party must vote that party. She says residents who are unaffiliated can go to the polls and declare at that time.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday and nearly 4,000 Sedgwick County residents are still considered incomplete registrants. People who filled out registration forms and have not provided proof of citizenship need to send in a copy of a birth certificate, passport or other document in order to vote.