KANSAS

 

Candidates

Voter Issues

MAY 2020

 

Kansas: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that blocked Kansas from enforcing a requirement in violation of federal law that voters provide documents proving they are citizens when registering to vote, dealing a blow to notorious voter suppression crusader Kris Kobach.

The 1993 National Voter Registration Act, best known as the Motor Voter law, bars states from requiring such documents for registering to vote in federal elections. Instead, it only requires voters to swear under penalty of perjury that they are citizens and therefore eligible to vote.

Kobach, who is running in the GOP primary for Senate this year, had championed Kansas' law while serving as secretary of state in the 2010s. The measure had led to one in seven new voter registrations being suspended for lack of documentation, affecting 30,000 would-be registrants in total—a group that was disproportionately young and Latino. The requirement also made it impossible to conduct voter registration drives because few citizens carry around documents like a passport day-to-day.

A federal court had suspended the law for the 2016 elections ahead of trial, which took place in 2018 and saw Kobach's case completely fall to shambles and thoroughly discredit his voter fraud zealotry after his embarrassing attempt to represent himself in court. The presiding judge ended up reprimanding Kobach for failing to follow basic procedures, ordering him to complete six hours of legal education courses and holding him in contempt of court for refusing to stop enforcing the documentation requirement.

Kobach said in 2018 that he would appeal all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, but it's unclear whether his successor as secretary of state, Republican Scott Schwab, shares that position. Schwab and GOP Attorney General Derek Schmidt have said they are considering their next move.

• Kansas: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that blocked Kansas from enforcing a requirement in violation of federal law that voters provide documents proving they are citizens when registering to vote, dealing a blow to notorious voter suppression crusader Kris Kobach.

The 1993 National Voter Registration Act, best known as the Motor Voter law, bars states from requiring such documents for registering to vote in federal elections. Instead, it only requires voters to swear under penalty of perjury that they are citizens and therefore eligible to vote.

Kobach, who is running in the GOP primary for Senate this year, had championed Kansas' law while serving as secretary of state in the 2010s. The measure had led to one in seven new voter registrations being suspended for lack of documentation, affecting 30,000 would-be registrants in total—a group that was disproportionately young and Latino. The requirement also made it impossible to conduct voter registration drives because few citizens carry around documents like a passport day-to-day.

A federal court had suspended the law for the 2016 elections ahead of trial, which took place in 2018 and saw Kobach's case completely fall to shambles and thoroughly discredit his voter fraud zealotry after his embarrassing attempt to represent himself in court. The presiding judge ended up reprimanding Kobach for failing to follow basic procedures, ordering him to complete six hours of legal education courses and holding him in contempt of court for refusing to stop enforcing the documentation requirement.

Kobach said in 2018 that he would appeal all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, but it's unclear whether his successor as secretary of state, Republican Scott Schwab, shares that position. Schwab and GOP Attorney General Derek Schmidt have said they are considering their next move.

FEBRUARY 2020

 

• Kansas: State and national Democratic Party organizations have filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to require that Republican Secretary of State Scott Swhab promulgate the regulations needed for counties to switch to countywide "vote centers," where any voter in the county may cast their ballot, or otherwise allow counties to implement such systems without Schwab's approval. Schwab has claimed he won't be able to issue the regulations until after 2020, prompting members of both parties, who passed a bipartisan law establishing vote centers in 2019, to accuse him of dragging his feet.

The lawsuit argues that Schwab's actions make it harder for people to vote in violation of the state constitution. Kansas' Supreme Court has a 5-2 majority of Democratic appointees in case the lawsuit eventually reaches them, although that's no guarantee of success.

JANUARY 2020

Kansas: Despite bipartisan support for a 2019 law that was supposed to give counties the option of letting voters cast a ballot at any polling place countywide instead of just their locally assigned polling place, Republican Secretary of State Scott Schwab told legislators on Tuesday that the regulations needed to implement these countywide voting centers won't be ready until after the 2020 elections. The new system was intended to make voting more accessible and has increasingly been adopted in other jurisdictions.

©BOOMERS FOR DEMOCRACY: Proudly created with Wix.com