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Kobach Defends Kansas Voter Registration Policies in Shawnee County Court

Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaking to reporters after the hearing. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A judge in Topeka is considering if he should permanently block a policy that would only count some votes cast by thousands of Kansans who registered to vote at the DMV. These are residents who didn’t provide a citizenship document when they registered, as required by state law.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach told Judge Larry Hendricks Wednesday that those Kansans should only be allowed to vote in federal races. Kobach says allowing them to vote in all races undermines the state’s voter registration law.

“The plaintiffs in this case are really trying to gut Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship law by saying if you register at the DMV you don’t have to prove your citizenship,” says Kobach.
The ACLU says Kobach does not have the authority to create a system where some Kansans are only allowed to vote in certain races. Sophia Lakin, with the ACLU, argued in court that Kobach is overstepping his authority and trying to rewrite state law.

“What he’s done here is create this system that allows him to partially count their ballots. That’s just something that doesn’t exist in Kansas law. Registration is registration for all elections,” says Lakin.

Before the primary election, Judge Hendricks said the affected voters would be allowed to cast ballots in all races. Now he'll decide whether his ruling should be extended.
KPR's Stephen Koranda has details:



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