Articles about voting issues in Kansas.

Kansas: Douglas County sheriff and his mother under investigation for voter fraud; case reveals quirk in Kansas voting law | Lawrence Journal World

Sheriff Ken McGovern in the last two elections helped his elderly mother obtain a ballot to vote in Douglas County, despite evidence that his mother lives in a Johnson County nursing home. A spokesman with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office confirmed that the matter had been forwarded to state prosecutors for review and possible charges. When questioned by the Journal-World, McGovern confirmed that during the 2016 primary election in August he picked up an advance ballot at the county courthouse for his mother, Lois McGovern. Sheriff McGovern signed a document listing that his mother was registered to vote at 2803 Schwarz Road in Lawrence. County records, however, show that Lois McGovern sold that home more than a year before the primary election. Sheriff McGovern confirmed to the Journal-World that his mother was not living at the house during the primary election. In the November general election, McGovern again went to pick up an advance ballot for his mother. But this time he faced pushback from a county employee who had knowledge that McGovern’s mother did not live at the Schwarz Road address, a source with knowledge of the incident told the Journal-World. But Sheriff McGovern eventually was allowed to take a ballot to his mother, after her address was changed to that of Sheriff McGovern’s west Lawrence home. McGovern, though, confirmed to the Journal-World that his mother does not live with him. Sheriff McGovern declined to say where his mother lived, and he refused to confirm that she lives in Douglas County. “Where she is living doesn’t make a difference,” McGovern said. Read More

Kansas: Kris Kobach’s “voter fraud” meltdown: Someday he’ll have evidence of a problem that doesn’t exist | Salon

As he blatantly lied on a series of Sunday talk shows about the extent to which illegal voting occurs in American elections, White House aide Stephen Miller told George Stephanopoulos to “invite Kris Kobach onto your show, and he can walk you through some of the evidence of voter fraud in greater detail.” On Monday, three separate networks gave Kobach the chance to do just that. It did not go well for him. A Kansas secretary of state who is a longtime crusader against immigration, Kobach is often credited with having inspired Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. Kobach has also promoted the ludicrous theory that undocumented immigrants are voting in numbers sufficient to swing elections toward the Democrats. You would think the number of elections that Democrats keep losing might dissuade him from this theory. You would be wrong.

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Kansas: Kobach spars with ACLU over bill to close ‘loophole’ for voting without proof of citizenship | The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday faced impassioned opposition from civic groups and lawyers as he urged a panel of lawmakers to authorize a two-ballot system for state and federal voting. Kobach describes Senate Bill 37 as a patch to close a “loophole” created by a federal court injunction that allowed Kansans to vote if they registered through the Division of Motor Vehicles. The ACLU of Kansas, however, said Kobach is asking lawmakers to adopt a “manifestly unfair” system that has already been blocked by federal injunction. Dozens of people packed the room to testify or listen to the Senate election committee’s hearing on the bill. Many expressed opposition to Kobach’s proposal by applauding those who testified against it. Read More

Kansas: Kobach voting law may disenfranchise voters, report says | The Kansas City Star

A civil rights advisory panel is urging a more thorough review of a Kansas voting law after finding evidence that the law may be disenfranchising voters of color. Kansas passed a law in 2011 that set up requirements that voters must show a photo ID at the polls and must provide proof of citizenship when they register. The policies were adopted at the urging of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as a way to prevent voter fraud. But a draft report from the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights details concerns that the law “may have been written and implemented with improper, discriminatory intent.” The report was obtained by The Star. … The report urges the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate whether the Kansas law, which it notes is the strictest in the nation, has violated the federal Voting Rights Act and other voting laws in its implementation. Read More

Kansas: Kansans Caught In Crosscheck System Singled Out For Kobach’s Voter Fraud Campaign | KCUR

Randall Killian thought he was investing in his new retirement property in Colorado when he received a mail-in ballot in 2012 asking if he would like to legalize marijuana in that state. “When I saw that on the ballot, it’s like, ‘Oh, wow, that’s something I’ll never get a chance to vote for again. So bam! I vote on it,” Killian says. “Voted in Ellis County (Kansas), just like I’d done for 25 years.” Problem was: Amendment 64 was a Colorado issue, on a Colorado ballot.  Killian, who lives in Hays, Kansas, also voted in his home state that year. Four years later, in early 2016, Killian learned of his mistake from a reporter. “All of a sudden,” he says, “I’m indicted.” Read More

Kansas: Civil rights panel calls for federal probe of Kansas voting laws; Kobach says review unnecessary | Lawrence Journal World

Kansas’ strict voting laws sometimes act like a poll tax and also disproportionately discourage young voters, a civil rights panel alleges in a draft report that seeks a federal probe into Kansas voting laws. A panel that advises the U.S. Civil Rights Commission is circulating a draft report that would ask that agency to call for a Justice Department review of Kansas’ strict voting rights laws to determine whether the state is in compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act and other laws. “Kansas’ proof of citizenship and voter ID requirements under the (Secure and Fair Elections, or) SAFE Act are the strictest in the nation, and may impose a substantially higher burden than that which has been previously challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court,” the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights said in its draft report. “Community groups, local elections officials, and individual citizens all reported struggling to comply with the requirements.” Read More

Kansas: Judge sets hearing date on Kansas citizenship proof lawsuits | Associated Press

A judge has set a joint hearing on the fate of two federal lawsuits in Kansas challenging the state’s proof-of-citizenship requirement for voter registration. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson on Monday granted the unopposed request to consolidate oral arguments on motions seeking partial summary judgment. She set March 3 as the hearing date. Read More

Kansas: Special election adds urgency to pending court cases | Associated Press

The special election for the congressional seat formerly held by new CIA Director Mike Pompeo has added urgency to pending court decisions in multiple federal lawsuits challenging restrictive voter registration requirements in Kansas. Gov. Sam Brownback has called an April 11 special election to fill the 4th District seat, which represents southern Kansas. Preliminary court orders allowed Kansans who registered using a federal form or at motor vehicle offices to vote in the November election even if they didn’t conform to a disputed Kansas requirement to provide documentary proof of citizenship to vote, such as a birth certificate, naturalization papers or a passport. Read More

Kansas: ACLU seeks copy of Kobach’s proposed changes to U.S. election law | Lawrence Journal World

The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court to force Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to turn over proposed changes to the nation’s voter registration law that the conservative Republican was photographed bringing to a meeting in November with Donald Trump. That draft document — which is partially obscured by Kobach’s left arm and hand in the photograph taken by The Associated Press — is being sought as part of the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging Kansas’ restrictive voter registration law. The ALCU filed its request for the proposed amendments late Monday. Read More

Kansas: Governor sets April 11 election to fill Pompeo’s seat | Associated Press

Gov. Sam Brownback called a special election for April 11 to fill the south-central Kansas congressional seat previously held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, with an already crowded field that includes Pompeo’s predecessor, the state treasurer and a former state treasurer. Brownback signed the necessary document Tuesday — called a writ of election — a day after the U.S. Senate confirmed Pompeo’s appointment by President Donald Trump. It will be the state’s first special congressional election since 1950. Democrats and Republicans in the 17-county district that includes Wichita must have special conventions by Feb. 18 to pick their nominees. For the election, Brownback picked the first Tuesday allowed under a 6-day-old state law aimed at giving military personnel an additional month to receive and return their ballots. “The people of the 4th District needed a representative as soon as possible,” Brownback told reporters. “You’re looking at a very active Congress.” Read More