A proof-of-citizenship requirement for Kansas voters is likely to come under attack once the Legislature opens its annual session, but the debate over the policy championed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach also will play in out in federal court and his re-election campaign. The law took effect at the start of the year and requires new voters to produce a birth certificate, passport or other documentation of their U.S. citizenship when registering. As the year ends, more than 19,000 Kansas residents find their registrations on hold — keeping them from legally casting ballots — because they haven’t complied. Several Democratic lawmakers have proposed rewriting or repealing the proof-of-citizenship law, and even some of Kobach’s fellow Republicans in the GOP-dominated Legislature want to look for ways to shrink the list of affected voters. Former state Sen. Jean Schodorf, the expected Democratic challenger for Kobach, is calling on legislators to audit how Kobach’s office has administered the law once they convene Jan. 13.
Kobach and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year to compel a federal agency to help their states carry out proof-of-citizenship requirements. The American Civil Liberties Union launched its own legal challenge over the policy in November.
“He promised that this law would be simple, easy and seamless to implement,” Schodorf, who voted for the law as a moderate Republican state senator, said during a recent interview. She lost her seat in 2012 conservative primary challenger and switched parties. “We’re in this horrible mess.”
Full Article: Kansas voter citizenship law facing new scrutiny – SFGate.