Kansas residents can register to vote using a federal form without having to provide proof of citizenship under the June 29 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but they won’t be allowed to vote in state and local elections, the state’s top election official said. The high court’s justices rejected an appeal from Republican officials in Kansas and Arizona who have sought force federal elections officials to change a national voter registration form so that it requires new voters in their states to submit a birth certificate, passport or other papers documenting U.S. citizenship. Last year, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the two states can not demand that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission help them enforce their laws. Most new Kansas voters use a state voter registration form requiring such documents. The federal form requires only that voters sign a sworn statement saying they are citizens.
“States allow people to use the federal form to register for state elections as a courtesy, but are not required to do so,” Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said. “So I would encourage people to continue to provide proof of citizenship. That is what the people of Kansas overwhelmingly wanted, that is what I ran on and that is what the Kansas Legislature overwhelmingly voted for. That remains the law in Kansas.”
Kobach has championed such laws as a way to prevent noncitizens from voting, particularly those living in the U.S. illegally.
Under the dual voting system that Kansas and Arizona instituted starting in last November’s elections, voters who registered with the federal form without providing citizenship documentation were allowed to cast a provisional ballot – but only their votes cast in federal races were counted. People who used the state registration form without proving their citizenship couldn’t vote at all.
Full Article: The Legal Record – Online Edition.