voting laws

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.

Bloomsberries, flickr Creative Commons

County election officials in Kansas could be nearly done with canceling more than 31,000 incomplete voter registrations when a federal judge has the next hearing in a lawsuit challenging the effort.

Kansas election officials are expected to begin removing the names of more than 31,000 prospective voters from their registration records Friday in line with the state's tough voter identification law, which requires applicants to prove their citizenship before casting a ballot.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A lawsuit is targeting Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach over a new rule he put in place that will cancel incomplete voter registrations. The suit also asks a federal court to overturn the Kansas requirement that voters supply documents proving their citizenship.

More than 30,000 Kansas voter registrations have been put on hold because they don’t include the citizenship documents. Kobach’s new rule would cancel those incomplete registrations once they are 90 days old.

Kansas residents whose voter registrations have been suspended because they haven't provided a passport or birth certificate have 90 days to provide the documents before their registrations are canceled.

Marc Nozell, flickr Creative Commons;

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is trading barbs over social media with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on voting rights.

The spat was sparked by Kobach's proposal to throw out after 90 days names of more than 34,000 potential voters who registered in the state, but didn't provide proof-of-citizenship documents like a birth certificate or naturalization papers.

Clinton's campaign late Monday posted a comment on Twitter calling the plan a "targeted attack on voting rights," including a link to a story from The Associated Press about it.

A federal appeals court has ruled that Kansas and Arizona residents can register to vote using a federal form without providing proof of citizenship.

Most residents in the two states register using a separate state form requiring them to show a birth certificate, a U.S. passport or naturalization papers.

Kansas and Arizona had asked the U.S. government to also impose that same requirement on voters who register using the simpler federal form, which only requires a sworn statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are heading to court again in their battle over Kobach’s attempts to enforce a proof-of-citizenship requirement for new voters.

The ACLU hopes a Shawnee County judge will use Friday’s hearing to review its request for a temporary injunction to keep Kobach from imposing a new policy for the state’s Aug. 5 primary elections.

Kobach has said that Kansas residents who register with a national form will be allowed to complete full ballots, but only their votes in congressional races will be counted.

Gov. Sam Brownback has until March 31 to decide the fate of the Kansas GOP's plan to make it harder for voters to switch parties before primary elections.

The Legislature delivered a bill containing the plan to Brownback on Friday. He has 10 days under the state Constitution to sign the measure, to veto it or let it become law without his signature.

The bill prohibits voters registered with a political party from switching their affiliation between the June 1 candidate filing deadline until after results from the August party primaries are certified.