There is nothing more important to American democracy than the participation of its citizens through voting. Voting in local, state and federal elections is a precious right that unfortunately is the subject of considerable confusion in Kansas these days. With the primary election less than a month away, Kansas remains mired in a number of court battles over which registered voters are allowed to vote and in which contests. Last week, a federal judge refused to block a decision by the executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to require voters in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama to present proof of citizenship to complete their registrations using a federal form. In other states, the federal voter registration form requires voters to swear under penalty of perjury that they are citizens but doesn’t require citizenship proof such as a birth certificate or passport. Legal action challenging the EAC decision still is active, but the judge said the decision should stand until the case is decided at trial.
So, at least for now, the relatively few people who register using a federal form will not be able to vote in Kansas unless they provide proof of citizenship. That puts them in the same category with thousands of other Kansans whose voter registrations have been put on hold awaiting citizenship documents. That is, unless those voters registered at a Kansas motor vehicle office, in which case, according to another federal judge, the federal “motor voter” law requires that they be allowed to vote in federal, but not local and state elections.
And who knows what other confusion will be added to the Kansas voter registration system between now and the Aug. 2 primary election?
Full Article: Editorial: Voting rights / LJWorld.com.