A state regulatory board on Tuesday rejected Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proposal to allow some 12,000 residents in a suspended state of voter registration to participate in upcoming elections. The change would have allowed residents who have yet to provide proof of citizenship to county election officials to cast provisional ballots in upcoming special elections. Residents would be required to show proof of citizenship before the election was certified.
Kansas enacted a law in 2011 requiring residents to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote starting Jan. 1, 2013. A new state computer system that was supposed to provide that verification to the secretary of state’s office hasn’t started sending the information to election officials.
Sen. Vicki Schmidt, a Topeka Republican and member of the state Rules and Regulations Board, said the temporary fix would not solve the problem and those casting provisional ballots would have the added burden of proving citizenship before the elections were certified for their votes to count.