A Shawnee County judge has issued an order that should ensure that thousands of people are able to vote in state and local elections this November. Judge Larry Hendricks previously issued a preliminary order that people who registered to vote at the DMV could vote in the August primary regardless of whether they had provided proof of citizenship. He has now extended that order through the Nov. 8 general election. He has also amended his order to require that Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the defendant in the case, ensure that these 18,000 voters are given timely notice by local election offices that they qualify to vote in federal, state and local races in the general election. Kobach will face a contempt hearing this week in a separate federal case over allegations that he has failed to ensure these voters are registered and informed of their status.
Hendricks has not made a final ruling in the case, which centers on whether Kobach has the authority to set up a dual registration system in Kansas.
In court earlier this month, Kobach argued that two of the plaintiffs, Marvin Brown, a 90-year-old Army veteran from Johnson County, and his wife, JoAnn Brown, had failed to demonstrate standing in the case because they have not proven that they are U.S. citizens or, if they are citizens, they lack access to proof of that fact, such as a birth certificate.
The judge said it will require additional discovery to settle the issue of standing before he can make a final ruling. Extending the preliminary order is meant to ensure that the thousands of voters are able to vote in state and local races while the issue is litigated.