Four Kansas Lawmakers went on record Monday opposing Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proposal to cancel voter registration applications after 90 days if those voters do not submit proof of citizenship or other required information. Those statements came during a meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations, which reviews proposed regulations, but which does not have authority to veto them. “I want to record my opposition to this arbitrary and capricious 90-day rule,” said Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, who also raised new questions about whether the state’s proof-of-citizenship requirement is constitutional, in light of a recent federal appeals court opinion.
Joining him were Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudea, of Wichita, and Rep. Tom Hawk, of Manhattan, both Democrats, and Republican Sen. Vicki Schmidt, of Topeka.
Since January 2013, voters registering for the first time in their county have been required to show proof of U.S. citizenship in order to complete their registrations.
During the 2014 midterm elections, more than 23,000 Kansans who had attempted to register since that law took effect were unable to vote because their registrations were held “in suspense” because they had not provided the required documents. According to Kobach’s office, that number now stands at more than 31,000 would-be voters.