Lawyers presented closing arguments on Monday in the trial of a legal challenge to a Kansas law requiring proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, with opponents calling the statute illegal and supporters deeming it necessary to fight voter fraud. The seven-day, non-jury trial in Kansas City drew to a conclusion as U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson said she was taking the case under submission and would not render a decision for at least a month. The Kansas law, which took effect in 2013, requires individuals to present a U.S. passport, birth certificate or other proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. Several other Republican-led state legislatures have enacted similar measures in recent years.
Critics argue that voter ID laws are designed to suppress groups of the electorate that tend to support the Democratic Party, such as the young and minorities. Proponents say they help ensure the integrity of elections.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in February 2016 challenging the Kansas law as a violation of the National Voter Registration Act, which allows individuals to register to vote at state motor vehicles offices with no more documentation than they would need to obtain a driver’s license.