Kris Kobach made his way around the room without breaking a sweat. Having just finished debating a KU adjunct professor for an hour over his signature voting laws at the Dole Institute of Politics on the university’s campus Tuesday night, the Kansas secretary of state didn’t drop his smile. He fielded questions during a question-and-answer session, including a query that implied Hillary Clinton’s campaign had rigged electronic voting machines during her race against Bernie Sanders. He listened as a woman spoke with him about immigration and an out-of-town camera crew followed his moves. The frenzied pace of Kobach’s evening mirrors his public life at the moment. Kansas’ proof of citizenship voting law, championed by Kobach, is being challenged in multiple courts, and he’s flown across the country to defend it before judges. Those efforts have so far been largely unsuccessful. The state’s law that requires individuals to produce documents such as a birth certificate to register to vote has suffered multiple blows in court. The latest ruling averse to Kobach came just a week ago.
… On Sept. 9, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the proof of citizenship law. Its ruling held that people registering using the federal form must be allowed to vote in federal races.
The League of Women voters had challenged the law — specifically a decision earlier this year by U.S. Election Assistance Commission director Brian Newby to allow three states, including Kansas, to require proof of citizenship for individuals registering with the federal form. The court granted a preliminary injunction in a 2-1 decision.
“With just weeks to go before a critical presidential election, we are grateful to the court of appeals for stopping this thinly veiled discrimination in its tracks,” said Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, in a statement. “We should be making voting easier, not harder. All eligible Americans deserve the opportunity to register and vote without obstacles.”