Ever since the Kansas Secure and Fair Elections Act went into effect in 2013, there has been a seemingly endless string of legal battles over its legitimacy. The controversial law requires people to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote. It was authored by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who believes the law protects Kansas from fraudulent voting. Here, a look into the wonderful world of state and federal lawsuits to find out how the SAFE Act may affect upcoming elections in Kansas. Back in 2014, Kris Kobach stood on the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown Wichita after a long day of court proceedings. “This case is about Kansas’ right as a sovereign state to enforce our voter qualifications—specifically that voters must be U.S. citizens,” he said.
Kobach was suing the U.S. Election Assistance Commission because the agency refused to add proof-of-citizenship requirements to federal voter registration forms distributed within the state. He said the discrepancy created a loophole, and that undocumented immigrants could elude state law and potentially cast ballots. “There are so many close elections,” Kobach said. “If you just have a handful of aliens who have voted in that election, that could swing the result and steal the election.”
Since those court proceedings took place, the rules for voter registration in Kansas have resembled a game of ping-pong, with each side alternately scoring and losing points. The federal judge presiding over the 2014 case ruled in favor of Kobach, and ordered the EAC to change the federal voter registration forms–not only in Kansas, but also in Arizona, where similar proof-of-citizenship laws exist. Point, Kobach.
However, an appeals court blocked that ruling, stating that the EAC is not required to simply rubber stamp any and all requests from individual states. Kobach attempted to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied. Point, SAFE Act opponents.
Full Article: Making Sense Of Kansas’ Ever-Changing Voting Laws | KMUW.