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Kansas: Want To Get Out Of ‘Voter Purgatory’ In Kansas? Try Suing. | Huffington Post

To get out of voter registration “purgatory” in Kansas, it helps to sue. That’s what two young men and their attorneys found when they took Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) to court over a state law that requires residents to present proof of citizenship documents in order to vote in state and federal elections. If a Kansan registers to vote but does not provide one of 13 valid proof-of-citizenship documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, he or she is placed on a so-called “suspense” list. Just three other states in the country have such a requirement on the books, and Kansas and Arizona are the only states enforcing it.  About 36,000 Kansans were in this state of “voter purgatory” as of early October. For comparison, the state has 1.7 million registered voters.

Full Article: Want To Get Out Of 'Voter Purgatory' In Kansas? Try Suing..

Kansas: Lawyers in voter registration lawsuit against Kobach ask for class-action status | The Wichita Eagle

A court challenge by two Douglas County residents against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach could become a class-action suit that represents many of the 36,000 people slated to have their incomplete voter registrations canceled. Lawyers for Cody Keener and Alder Cromwell filed an amendment Tuesday to make the change. Kobach has asked the federal court to dismiss the case because Keener and Cromwell are now registered to vote. His office registered them by obtaining proof-of-citizenship documents on their behalf, which is allowed by the registration statute. Will Lawrence, attorney for Cromwell and Keener, said their case remains valid despite Kobach’s subsequent action to register them. “But we also realize this case involves tens of thousands of Kansans who have ended up on the suspended voter list and are ultimately to be denied the right to vote,” Lawrence said. Craig McCullah, Kobach’s spokesman, said Thursday the office was reviewing the class-action request and had no comment yet.

Full Article: Lawyers in voter registration lawsuit against Kobach ask for class-action status | The Wichita Eagle.

North Carolina: Judge refuses to dismiss voter ID challenge | The Charlotte Observer

A federal judge on Friday refused a request from state lawmakers to dismiss a challenge to the N.C. voter ID law. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder set the issue for a trial, tentatively in January. Attorneys for state lawmakers argued that a 2015 change to the ID provision of an election law overhaul made the 2013 legal challenge moot. Though the law initially restricted voting to people who had one of six specified photo identification cards, the General Assembly added a provision on the eve of the federal trial this summer that made it possible to cast a provisional ballot without an ID. The law is set to go into effect next year. Advocates of the ID law say it is necessary to prevent voter fraud. But few cases have been prosecuted.

Full Article: Judge refuses to dismiss NC voter ID challenge | The Charlotte Observer.

Kansas: Kansas May Be The Toughest Place to Vote in America | The Takeaway

Of the 239 million American people who are of voting age, a little more than half—only about 142 million—were registered to vote in 2014. For people in the state of Kansas, their voter registration process is a bit more difficult in the lead up to this election season, thanks in part to the Secure and Fair Elections Act, also known as the SAFE Act. The law, sponsored by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, requires potential voters to provide proof of U.S. citizenship when registering. In all states, voting in federal elections is limited to U.S. citizens, but requirements for voting vary state by state. In the least restrictive states, like New Jersey, for instance, a signature verification is the only requirement for registration. Other states are stricter—Texas requires a government-issued photo ID like a driver’s license.

Full Article: Kansas May Be The Toughest Place to Vote in America - The Takeaway.

Kansas: Voter ID Law Sets Off a New Battle Over Registration | The New York Times

Amelia Flores, a high school senior with plans to become an electrical engineer, eagerly filled out a form to register to vote for the first time at the Kansas State Fair last month. But she left the fair without registering, stymied by a state law championed by Republicans who dominate elected offices in Kansas that requires her to provide proof of citizenship. “I think it’s ridiculous and restrictive,” said Ms. Flores, who later received a notice in the mail informing her that she must produce a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship to complete the registration. “A lot of people are working multiple jobs, so they don’t have time to get this stuff done. Some of them don’t have access to their birth certificate.” Ms. Flores, who said she was born in Washington State, unwittingly joined a list of more than 36,000 people in Kansas who have tried to register to vote since the law went into effect in 2013, but then did not complete their registration. This month, under a rule adopted by the Kansas secretary of state’s office, county election officials throughout the state began to cull names from the voters list, removing people who had been on it at least 90 days. Those removed from the list must start the registration process over in order to vote.

Full Article: Kansas Voter ID Law Sets Off a New Battle Over Registration - The New York Times.

Kansas: Thousands Of Kansans In Voter Limbo As Fight Rages Over Proof-Of-Citizenship Law | KCUR

In Kansas, you have to show proof that you are a U.S. citizen to register to vote, and that requirement has held up tens of thousands of registrations and produced an enormous list of would-be voters who are essentially in limbo — all because they haven’t shown a birth certificate or passport. Now Kansas’ top elections official in Kansas wants that list purged, and that’s leading to a fight. Like a lot of people, Cody Keener registered to vote for the first time at the Division of Motor Vehicles. Keener is 21 and comes from a long line of Kansans. So he figured he was set to both drive and vote, but he was wrong. He recently learned that his registration is incomplete because he hasn’t shown proof that he’s a U.S. citizen. “It’s very discouraging to young people,” says Keener. “I’m a full-time student, I work anywhere from 20 to 30 hours a week.” 

Full Article: Thousands Of Kansans In Voter Limbo As Fight Rages Over Proof-Of-Citizenship Law | KCUR.

Kansas: ACLU moves to strike down Kobach’s voter citizenship law | The Wichita Eagle

The American Civil Liberties Union and Secretary of State Kris Kobach jockeyed for legal advantage Friday in a court case challenging Kobach’s implementation of the state’s voter proof-of-citizenship law. Representing Kansas voters who can cast ballots in federal races, but not state and local elections, the ACLU filed a motion for summary judgment that would strike down Kobach’s two-tier voting system without a trial. Nearly simultaneously, Kobach filed a motion that would allow him to immediately appeal a judge’s ruling that he overstepped his authority by dividing voters into two voting camps, those who registered using a state form and those who registered using a federal form. The case is important because it could let people work around a state law – authored by Kobach – that requires prospective registrants to show documents proving their citizenship before they are granted voting privileges. The proof-of-citizenship requirement is separate from the requirement that voters have to show photo ID when they cast a ballot. While a driver’s license is sufficient for Election Day voter ID, the state’s voter-registration form requires a higher level of documentation. That can usually be met only with a birth certificate, passport, or special papers issued to foreign-born and tribal citizens.

Full Article: ACLU moves to strike down Kobach’s voter citizenship law | The Wichita Eagle.