A Democratic candidate for secretary of state says Kansans with voter registrations that are on hold should be allowed to cast ballots until there’s actual suspicion of voter fraud. Around 19,000 voter registrations are suspended because they don’t include citizenship documentation. Wichita Democrat Jean Schodorf says there’s already enough information required on registration forms to detect fraud.
Schodorf originally voted for the law that put the proof-of-citizenship requirement into place during her time in the Kansas Senate, but she now says the law has not worked as promised and is disenfranchising eligible voters. Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach supports the law and says it helps prevent voter fraud.
A Democratic candidate for Kansas secretary of state has unveiled her proposal to revamp some voter registration rules. Kansas law requires proof of citizenship documents for people registering for the first time in Kansas, and that requirement has put around 19,000 voter registrations on hold. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.
Wichita Democrat Jean Schodorf says Kansans with voter registrations that are on hold should be allowed to cast ballots until there’s actual suspicion of voter fraud. She voted for the proof-of-citizenship requirement when she was in the Kansas Senate, but she now says the law has not worked as promised and is disenfranchising eligible voters. Schodorf lays that blame on Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who pushed for the law.
“I gave him a chance and he blew it. We have now lived with this law for over a year-and-a-half and its effects have been devastating,” says Schodorf.
Kobach says the voter registration requirements are preventing voter fraud, and he says Schodorf’s plan would not comply with state law.
“Amazingly, she thinks she could just ignore what is Kansas law. This is a state where the rule of law matters. You can’t just ignore what is on the books," says Kobach.
Kobach says those voters with registrations on hold could fix the problem by submitting the proper documents.
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Secretary Kobach is also facing a primary challenge from Lawrence Republican Scott Morgan.