Two separate courts are expected to act soon on lawsuits challenging a controversial state law requiring new voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote. Since the law took effect in 2013, more than 32,000 Kansans have had their registrations placed “in suspense” because they failed to provide the required citizenship proof. And now, under a new regulation by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, state and county election officers are actively purging the suspense voter list of any applications that have been pending for more than 90 days. On Dec. 4, a federal judge in Kansas City, Kan., will hold a hearing in a case seeking to block election officials from doing that.
Meanwhile in state court, Shawnee County District Judge Frank Theis could rule at any time on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that challenges Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s policy of holding “dual” elections for different categories of voters.
Under that system, first used last year, the only people allowed to vote in state or federal elections are those who registered using a state form and showed the required proof of citizenship, and those who were already registered before that law took effect in 2013.
Those who register using a federal form, which does not ask for proof of citizenship, are only allowed to vote in federal elections.