Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday faced impassioned opposition from civic groups and lawyers as he urged a panel of lawmakers to authorize a two-ballot system for state and federal voting. Kobach describes Senate Bill 37 as a patch to close a “loophole” created by a federal court injunction that allowed Kansans to vote if they registered through the Division of Motor Vehicles. The ACLU of Kansas, however, said Kobach is asking lawmakers to adopt a “manifestly unfair” system that has already been blocked by federal injunction. Dozens of people packed the room to testify or listen to the Senate election committee’s hearing on the bill. Many expressed opposition to Kobach’s proposal by applauding those who testified against it.
Kobach, who is locked in an ongoing legal battle with the ACLU over the state’s voting laws, said his bill is “a small fix to clarify what we thought was already in Kansas law.”
… The courts won’t find the fix in SB 37 to be unconstitutional, he assured the panel, and said Kansas must uphold the integrity of its democracy.
“We have discovered a very significant problem with noncitizens voting in Kansas,” Kobach said, citing Sedgwick County as an example and saying an academic analysis had concluded as many as 18,000 noncitizens could be on Kansas’ voter rolls.