With little advance notice of the hearing, a state panel this week approved a temporary election rule that will have some Kansans vote with provisional ballots, but only their votes in federal races will be counted. Votes for state and local races will be tossed out. Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach proposed the rule. The Kansas Rules and Regulations Board approved it Tuesday morning after notice of the meeting was sent out Monday afternoon. The change will affect around 17,000 Kansans who registered to vote at the DMVbut didn’t turn in a citizenship document required under state law. The rule change comes after a federal court said those suspended voters should be allowed to vote, at least in federal races. Bryan Brown, an attorney in the secretary of state’s office, said despite an ongoing legal battle, the state needs to continue enforcing election security measures in the SAFE Act. “It has been passed by the Legislature. It has been signed by the governor. It is the law of Kansas. That is all the secretary of state is trying to do here,” said Brown.
During a tense meeting, some members of the panel raised concerns. Republican Sen. Vicki Schmidt criticized the secretary of state’s staff for not bringing the proposal to lawmakers before the end of the legislative session. “Why was it not brought before the Legislature on sine die or during the special session to allow the entire Legislature the opportunity to weigh in on such an important issue?” asked Schmidt.
… An attorney in one of the lawsuits challenging Kansas voting rules, Mark Johnson, called the speedy process a “circus.” Johnson, who’s also a law professor at KU, said something of this significance deserves a full hearing before the public. “I tell my students that it’s important to honor the process. This dishonors the process,” said Johnson.
Johnson pointed out that a state court has said Kobach can’t create this type of two-tiered voting system. Kobach’s office has appealed that decision.
Full Article: Two-Tiered Kansas voting system will impact thousands.