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Lawsuit Pushing to Suspend New Kansas Voting Rule

Mark Johnson speaking against the new voter registration rule at a meeting earlier this month. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

There’s a legal challenge underway to a new Kansas voting rule that would nullify state and local votes from thousands of Kansans. These are people who registered to vote at the DMV, but their registrations are suspended because they didn't include a citizenship document required under Kansas law.

A regulation put in place by Secretary of State Kris Kobach will allow those suspended voters to cast provisional ballots, but only their votes in federal races would be counted.

Mark Johnson is an attorney working on a lawsuit challenging the new rule. He’s encouraging suspended voters to go ahead and vote in all races on the ballot, because he says a court might put the new rule on hold after a hearing this week.

“If the injunction that is being sought is granted, then those votes would be counted, but you can’t count a vote that was never cast,” says Johnson.
A court says those suspended voters who registered at the DMV must be allowed to cast a ballot, at least in federal races.

Kobach’s office says counting only their votes for federal races complies with the court ruling while still enforcing Kansas voting laws.

KPR's Stephen Koranda looked into the ongoing legal battle.

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