The American Civil Liberties Union asked a Kansas judge Friday to prevent Secretary of State Kris Kobach from starting a “dual” voting system to help the conservative Republican enforce a proof-of-citizenship requirement for new voters that he championed. The ACLU filed a request for a temporary injunction with Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis in a lawsuit that the group filed last year on behalf of two voters and Equality Kansas, the state’s leading gay-rights group. Theis already had scheduled a hearing for July 11, and the ACLU wants its request considered then, ahead of the state’s Aug. 5 primary.
Kobach announced earlier this month that a relative handful of Kansas residents who have registered to vote using a national form will be allowed to complete full ballots at the polls, but only their votes in congressional races will be counted. The national form does not require a prospective voter to submit a birth certificate, passport or other documentation of U.S. citizenship.
The state’s registration form does require such documentation, in keeping with a Kansas law that took effect last year. If prospective voters using the state form don’t produce the necessary papers, their registrations are put on hold, and at the polls, their ballots are set aside and none of their votes are counted. Almost 19,000 registrations are on hold.