A Kansas law that blocked tens of thousands of voter registrations goes on trial this week in federal court — testing whether fraud is common enough to warrant tougher registration rules. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach wants to prove his oft-made and much-challenged assertions that voter fraud isn’t just a risk, but a real and widespread problem. If he fails in court, the state will no longer be able to block voter registrations at driver’s license offices for failing to show such things as birth certificates or passports to prove citizenship.
Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC Irvine, says a Kobach win would allow other Republican-controlled states to impose their own stricter voter registration laws.
The case will also draw attention because of Kobach’s national role in promoting the idea that immigrants game the American electoral system.
“Here’s a case where that very issue is going to be put on trial,” Hasen said.