Kris Kobach

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Kansas: Appellate court rejects Kobach’s request to block Douglas County grand jury probe | Lawrence Journal-World

The Kansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s request for a new hearing to decide whether a grand jury should be called to investigate his office for allegedly mishandling voter registrations. But Kobach’s office has already asked the Kansas Supreme Court to review the matter, a motion that could postpone any action in the matter until after the Aug. 7 primary election, in which Kobach is seeking the Republican nomination for governor. Steven X. Davis, a Democratic candidate running for the 45th District House seat in Douglas County, filed petitions last year seeking to call a citizen-initiated grand jury, which is allowed under Kansas law. Davis has alleged that Kobach, or others in the office, engaged in “destroying, obstructing, or failing to deliver online voter registration,” as well as possessing falsely made or altered registration books, preventing qualified electors from voting and “being grossly neglectful with respect to their election duties.” Read More

Kansas: With Elections Looming, ACLU Scrambles To Check If Kobach Registered Voters | KMUW

With less than a month until the 2018 primaries, the question of whether Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is in compliance with a federal court order to fix its voter registration practices is still up for debate. Kansas can no longer ask would-be voters to dig up documents like passports or birth certificates after a court ruled that unconstitutional and in violation of federal election law last month. Judge Julie Robinson ordered Kobach’s office to make sure that tens of thousands of previously blocked voters are now on the active voter rolls. Read More

Kansas: Kobach to judge: Kansas now in full compliance with voting rights ruling | Lawrence Journal-World

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has complied with a judge’s order by fully registering thousands of voters whose eligibility to cast a ballot had been in limbo because of the state’s now-defunct proof-of-citizenship requirement, according to court records. Some 25,000 Kansans will have their voting status solidified ahead of the Aug. 7 primary as a result of the move. Kobach is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in that election, challenging incumbent Jeff Colyer. According to a report the parties in the case jointly filed Sunday, Kobach told U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson that there are no longer any Kansas registrations in suspense or canceled for lack of citizenship documents. He informed Robinson that he is in full compliance with her order that all registrants receive the same information from county election offices and vote using the same poll books. Read More

Kansas: Attorney General takes over appeal of Kobach’s voting rights case | Lawrence Journal-World

Gov. Jeff Colyer said Thursday that he thinks the state has a good chance of winning an appeal of a federal court ruling striking down a state law requiring people to show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, especially now that Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office has taken over the case. “I think the attorney general will do a fine job, and I intend to win this. I think it’s an opportunity for us to win this thing,” Colyer told reporters Thursday. Read More

Kansas: Kris Kobach won’t represent himself during appeal | The Kansas City Star

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is no longer representing himself in a federal lawsuit over the state’s voter registration law that he lost after being found in contempt of court. Court documents show Kansas Solicitor General Toby Crouse will argue the case at the appeal stage. Crouse filed a notice this week on Kobach’s behalf saying he intends to appeal after Judge Julie Robinson ruled unconstitutional a state law requiring people to show proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. Read More

Kansas: State may be on hook for more costs in voting rights case | Associated Press

The ruling that struck down the state’s proof-of-citizenship voter registration law leaves Kansas potentially on the hook to pay attorney’s fees and costs for the winning side. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson granted Monday a joint request asking her to hold off awarding all fees and related expenses until appeals have been exhausted. Read More

National: Judge: Trump Fraud Panel Docs Must Be Turned Over To Member Who Sued | TPM

Nearly six months after President Trump, citing growing litigation, dissolved his sketchy voter fraud commission, a federal judge in Washington said Wednesday that certain commission documents should be turned over to one of its commissioners, who sued last year over the panel’s lack of transparency. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly had previously ordered in late December that the commissioner, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D), receive the documents, including internal communications, that he was requesting. About two weeks after her order, the commission folded, but the legal fight over his case has continued. The judge said Wednesday that the commission must turn over the documents that were covered in her Dec. 22 order by July 18. The judge said that she had not “considered line-by-line the documents requested by Plaintiff.” But she pointed to the documents referenced in an index of commission-related communications, which was provided in a separate lawsuit, as an example of what she was expecting to be turned over. Read More

Kansas: Kobach asks for new hearing in local effort to summon grand jury to investigate his office / Lawrence Journal World

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is asking a state appellate court for a new hearing to determine whether the Douglas County District Court should be required to summon a citizen-initiated grand jury to investigate allegations that his office has mishandled voter registration applications. Kobach filed the petition Friday, which was the deadline to ask for a rehearing in the case. Steven X. Davis, a Lawrence resident who is running as a Democrat for a seat in the Kansas House, had filed petitions in August 2017 calling for a grand jury to investigate general allegations that Kobach’s office had mismanaged the state’s voter registration system and had been “grossly neglectful with respect to their election duties.” Kansas is one of only six states that allows citizen-initiated grand juries. Read More

Kansas: Security Concerns Stall Kris Kobach’s Controversial Voter Tracking Program in Kansas | KMUW

A massive voter-tracking program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — which purports to help states keep voter rolls accurate — has halted operations over concerns about its own accuracy and security. The Interstate Crosscheck system, which Kobach’s office promised would be working ahead of the 2018 elections, has been sidelined while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducts a security assessment following the unintended release of hundreds of voters’ private information. Each year, the Crosscheck program compares voter registration lists from more than two dozen states, searching for duplicate names. The stated goal is to prevent people from voting in more than one state and eliminate voter fraud — although being registered to vote in two states is not illegal. Crosscheck then sends a list of duplicate names to each participating state, the first step in a long process of voter list maintenance. Read More

Kansas: Kobach Finally Tells Clerks To Comply With Court Order On Proof-of-Citizenship | TPM

After two days of confusion — with some but not all county election officials enforcing a Kansas voting restriction struck down by a federal judge Monday — the Kansas Secretary of State’s office instructed local officials Wednesday that proof-of-citizenship was not required to register to vote. The instructions marked the end — or at least a pause — in a years-long saga of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach fighting tooth and nail to keep his signature voter restriction alive, despite multiple court rulings against it. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson issued her order Monday, after a seven-day trial in March, declaring the proof-of-citizenship requirement a violation of both the National Voter Registration Act as well as the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Read More