Roughly one-third of all voter registration applications submitted in Kansas since Jan. 1 are in “suspense” because applicants could not provide proof of citizenship, but some say a flawed computer upgrade is responsible for most of the problem. Six months after the state started requiring new voters to prove their citizenship, 11,101 people who attempted to register were considered unqualified to vote because of lack of proof of citizenship, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. During that period, 20,780 have been added to the voter rolls, according to figures provided by the Kansas secretary of state’s office. When people show proof of U.S. citizenship to get a driver’s license in Kansas, the documentation is not making it to election officials for voter registration purposes, said Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew. “There are quite a few in suspense across the state, and we (in Douglas County) are no different than that,” Shew said.
In Douglas County, 339 of the 370 applications in suspense are due to a lack of citizenship documentation, and 310 of them came from the state’s Division of Vehicles, where people often register to vote while getting their driver’s license, Shew said.
The 370 voter registrations that are in suspense come out of about 1,000 applications, which means 37 percent are in suspense since the new requirement took effect.
“The large number … right now is a concern among election officers throughout the state. And that is just within a six-month time in an off season. What does that number look like in an election season?” Shew said.