voter registration

Hugo Phan / KMUW, File Photo

There are 17,500 people in Kansas who will now be allowed to vote in state and local races during Tuesday’s primary election due to a ruling handed down on Friday. Of those voters, roughly 4,200 live in Sedgwick County.

Back in May, Secretary of State Kris Kobach was ordered to register thousands of suspended voters in Kansas who used the DMV to sign up to vote. Even though these voters were protected by federal law from providing proof of citizenship, Kobach made the decision to only count their votes in federal races.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

There’s a legal challenge underway to a new state regulation that would throw out some votes cast by thousands of Kansans. It affects people who registered to vote at the DMV but didn’t turn in a citizenship document required under Kansas law.

The rule says nearly 20,000 Kansans with a suspended voter registration would be allowed to cast ballots, but only their votes in federal races would be counted.

Stephen Koranda

The State Election Board on Monday decided that an Osage County woman is a citizen and will be able to vote, despite the fact that she doesn’t have a document proving it.

Kansas law requires people registering to vote for the first time in the state to prove their U.S. citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate.

Making Sense Of Kansas' Ever-Changing Voting Laws

Jul 25, 2016
Becky McCray / flickr Creative Commons

Ever since the Kansas Secure and Fair Elections Act went into effect in 2013, there has been a seemingly endless string of legal battles over its legitimacy. The controversial law requires people to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote. It was authored by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who believes the law protects Kansas from fraudulent voting.

Here, a look into the wonderful world of state and federal lawsuits to find out how the SAFE Act may affect upcoming elections in Kansas.

A judge will hear arguments on whether to block the two-tiered voting system in Kansas just days before the primary election.

Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks has set a July 29 hearing in Topeka on the American Civil Liberties Union's request for a temporary restraining order. The primary is Aug. 2.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has championed laws restricting voting that are rippling across the country. The conservative Republican argues the tough laws on voting eligibility are needed to protect elections against fraud, but critics contend such restrictions are unnecessary and suppress voter turnout, particularly among the young and minority voters.

Arizona enacted the nation's first proof of citizenship law in 2004, followed by similar laws in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Kris Kobach over a dual voting process they say is illegal. The current system in place for Kansas elections would allow thousands of suspended voters to cast ballots only in federal elections, but not state or local ones.

A federal court ruling in May stated that forcing someone to provide a birth certificate or passport when registering to vote at motor vehicle offices violates federal law. The judge ordered Kansas to register roughly 17,000 suspended voters.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

It’s time to start voting, Kansas.

From the top of the primary ballot to the bottom there are important decisions to make by Aug. 2.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote in Sedgwick County before the Aug. 2 primary.

People can register by mail, on site at the Department of Motor Vehicles, or at the Sedgwick County Election office in downtown Wichita.

Chief Deputy Election Commissioner Sandra Gritz says people can also submit a voter registration card via fax, email or online, but it must be done by Tuesday, July 12, at 11:59 p.m. The timeline is different when registering in person.

Becky McCray / flickr Creative Commons

Voting in the August 2 primaries begins July 13 when the Sedgwick County Election Office begins mailing out ballots.

Advance voting ballots are available on request. People can apply up until the Friday before Election Day.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman urges voters to mail them back quickly.

"They have to be back in our office by 7 p.m. on election night," she says. "We recommend, though, with changes in the postal system, that as soon as you get that, you vote it and return it because it does take some time now."