Kansas

Articles about voting issues in Kansas.

Kansas: Kris Kobach wins stay of order to turn over documents from Donald Trump meeting | The Wichita Eagle

A federal magistrate judge has agreed to stay an order requiring Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to hand over documents from a meeting with President Donald Trump pending the results of an appeal. Judge James O’Hara in Kansas City, Kan., ordered Kobach Monday to provide the documents to the American Civil Liberties Union as part of the discovery process for an ongoing federal lawsuit seeking to overturn a Kansas law that requires voters to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, when they registered to vote. Read More

Kansas: Kobach seeks stay of order to hand over Donald Trump immigration meeting documents | The Kansas City Star

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach won’t hand over the documents from his November meeting with President Donald Trump just yet. Kobach filed a motion in federal court Wednesday to stay an order from a federal magistrate judge requiring him to share the documents with the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a lawsuit about voting rights in Kansas. Kobach met with Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., weeks after the Republican won the presidency. Kobach was photographed carrying a stack of papers that was labeled as a strategic plan for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and that contained a reference to voter rolls. The ACLU has sought access to the documents and to a draft amendment to the National Voter Registration Act, which Kobach has crafted and shared with his staff, as part of a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn a Kansas law. That law requires voters to provide proof of citizenship, such as birth certificate, when they register to vote. Read More

Kansas: Federal judge orders Kobach to share documents from his meeting with Trump | The Kansas City Star

A federal magistrate judge has ordered Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to disclose documents outlining a strategic plan he presented to then-President-elect Donald Trump in November, a decision that could have ramifications from Topeka to Washington. Kobach, who served on Trump’s transition team, was photographed in November holding a stack of papers labeled as a strategic plan for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That plan, as revealed by the photograph, included the recommendations that the U.S. block all refugees from Syria and engage in “extreme vetting” of immigrants from countries considered high-risk. It also contained a reference to voter rolls, which was partially obscured by Kobach’s hand in the photograph. The American Civil Liberties Union sought the documents’ disclosure as part of an ongoing lawsuit over a Kansas law that requires voters to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, when they register to vote. The ACLU argued that if Kobach lobbied Trump on changes to the National Voter Registration Act, commonly called the motor voter law, then the documents may contain material relevant to the case. Read More

Kansas: Judge orders Kobach to produce documents shared with Trump | The Wichita Eagle

A federal magistrate judge has ordered Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to hand over for review the documents that he took to a meeting with President Trump outlining a strategic plan for the Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., will determine whether the documents are relevant to two federal lawsuits seeking to overturn a Kansas law that requires voters to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, when they register to vote. Kobach, who served on the president’s transition team and was rumored to be under consideration for a role in the administration, met with Trump in November in Bedminster, N.J., and was photographed carrying a stack of papers with headings “DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY” and “KOBACH STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE FIRST 365 DAYS.” Read More

Kansas: WSU statistician: New voting machines more tamper-resistant, but not perfect | The Wichita Eagle

Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson says Sedgwick County’s new voting machines leave less room for vote tampering than the old ones did, but still aren’t perfect. “It’s a step in the right direction,” said Clarkson, who has a doctorate in statistics and works as chief statistician at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research. “If we would audit (the machines), that would be another step in the right direction.” On the plus side, she said, the new machines do print paper ballots with the voters’ choices printed on them. That allows voters to review their ballots and verify their selections before they feed the cards into a separate counting machine. It also will make it possible to do a hand recount in future races if problems are suspected with the machine counts, she said. On the downside, Clarkson said, the votes are still counted by computerized machinery, which creates the possibility of hacking or tampering with the software to change the outcome. Clarkson is a leading skeptic of the vote counting in recent south-central Kansas elections, citing what she says have been statistical anomalies between precincts and conflicts with the results of exit polling she oversaw last year. Read More

Kansas: House bill revoking Kobach’s appointment power held ‘hostage’ by GOP chairman | Topeka Capital-Journal

A Republican committee chairman formally submitted a bill Friday to the full House stripping Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach of power to pick the top election officer in the state’s four most populous counties after Democrats complained the legislation had inexplicably disappeared. Rep. Keith Esau, chairman of the House Elections Committee, said bill-drafting issues, instead of his personal opposition to the measure, delayed presentation of the measure to the House in accordance with a rule requiring delivery within two legislative work days. More than a week elapsed between the committee’s approval of Senate Bill 8 and the chairman’s compliance with the rule. Read More

Kansas: House members seek to strip Kobach of power to appoint election commissioners | The Topeka Capital-Journal

A fresh effort surfaced Wednesday in the House to transform election commissioners into locally elected positions instead of appointments by the Secretary of State — a change that would affect Shawnee County. Members of the House Elections Committee tacked an amendment onto a Senate bill that proponents say would make election offices in the state’s largest counties accountable to the people they serve. Rep. John Alcala, D-Topeka, said he supports the change and sees it as a matter of local control. “To me, it all falls back on local control,” Alcala said. “And I think that’s where it should be.” The Topeka Capital-Journal contacted Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office seeking comment. Kobach has previously told The Capital-Journal lawmakers should leave the appointing system as it is. Read More

Kansas: Report: Kansas Election Law Suppressing Turnout | KCUR

Kansas’ “strictest in the nation” election law may have been written with the intent to discriminate against certain groups of voters and should be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure that it doesn’t violate federal law, a civil rights panel says in a report issued Tuesday. The report, written by the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, says that the proof of citizenship and voter ID requirements imposed by a 2011 Kansas law “may impose a substantially higher burden than that which has been previously challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court.” Download the report from the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Read More

Kansas: Kobach Gets Plea Bargain In Seventh Voter Fraud Case | KCUR

A western Kansas man accused of voting in two states has agreed to a plea bargain, saying he “simply made a mistake.” Lincoln Wilson, a 65-year-old Republican from Sherman County, will plead guilty to three misdemeanor counts of voting without being qualified and two misdemeanor counts of false swearing to an affidavit, according to his lawyer, Jerry Fairbanks. The lone African-American charged in Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s voter fraud crusade, Wilson faced the most charges, including three felonies and six misdemeanors. In return for the plea, Kobach’s office will drop three felony charges of election perjury and one misdemeanor count of an unlawful advanced voting, Fairbanks says. Wilson will pay a $6,000 fine, Fairbanks says. Read More

Kansas: Judge hears arguments in voter registration case | The Kansas City Star

Opponents of a Kansas law requiring proof of citizenship before residents can register to vote asked a federal judge Friday to void the requirement. During oral arguments in Kansas City, Kan., attorneys representing voters denied registration asked for summary judgment in their companion cases, rather than going to trial. They argued that evidence already on the record proves that elements of the law were unconstitutional. The law is flawed, the lawyers said, because it doesn’t treat all eligible voters equally. It applies only to new voters, exempting all who registered before Jan. 1, 2013, from having to show proof of citizenship. Read More