After months of increases, Kansas saw a sharp drop over the past week in the number of prospective voters whose registrations were on hold for failing to present proof of their U.S. citizenship to election officials. Registrations on hold peaked at about 18,500 on Monday, according to the secretary of state’s office. After the state Department of Revenue forwarded to election officials information regarding 6,000 people who’d presented one of several required documents when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license, the number had fallen Friday to fewer than 17,200 — a decline of about 7 percent. The department still is combing through its records and expects to provide information about more Kansans to election officials, doing what it can to help without impeding the processing of driver’s licenses, spokeswoman Jeanine Koranda said. People whose registrations are on hold can’t legally cast ballots, and the growing numbers had led to criticism that the proof-of-citizenship law was disenfranchising voters and creating administrative headaches for county election officials. Shrinking the list allows more people to vote.
“It just shows that thinking creatively and working with other agencies cooperatively, we can help people finish their registrations,” said Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican and the architect of the proof-of-citizenship law. “We expect the decline to continue.”
A state law that took effect in January requires new voters to present citizenship papers — a birth certificate, passport or other documents — to election officials when registering to vote. If they don’t, election officials accept the applications but put registrations on hold. If those people go to the polls, their ballots are not counted.
Full Article: HDNews.net – an online service of the Hays Daily News.