A Kansas voter registration law enacted in 2013 has stopped thousands of eligible citizens from voting and will damage the election process if it is allowed to stand, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union argued Monday as testimony ended after seven, often-contentious days in a federal bench trial. ACLU attorney Dale Ho said during closing arguments that the hordes of noncitizens accused of illegally registering to vote and stealing elections by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach “are not real.” He derided one of Kobach’s frequent statements that the 129 noncitizens he says have registered to vote in Kansas are “just the tip of the iceberg.” “The iceberg, on close inspection your honor, is more of an ice cube,” said Ho, who urged U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson to find that the law will not be imposed in Kansas.
The ACLU, which has said up to 22,000 people who tried to register at motor vehicle offices have been prevented from doing so, is challenging a 2013 Kansas law that requires documents such as birth certificates or passports proving citizenship when registering to vote. The outcome of the trial could determine if thousands of Kansas residents will be allowed to vote.
In his closing, Kobach argued that the plaintiffs had not proven the law undermines the election process. His team has argued throughout the legal case that a vast majority of Kansas residents have access to the documents required by the law and the small number who don’t have several methods in which they can get off the suspended list and complete their registrations.