Two thirds of voter registrations in Kansas currently on hold over proof of citizenship requirement

According to court documents submitted by American Civil Liberties Union, over two thirds of voter registration applications submitted during a three-week period in February are currently on hold due to the state’s proof of citizenship requirement.

Only 7,444 of more than 22,000 voter registration applications submitted in Kansas between February 1st and February 21st were submitted with proof of citizenship. Kansas’s voter registration rules technically allow citizens to register for federal elections without proof of citizenship, but those voters are purged from the rolls if documentation is not submitted within 90 days of registering,

Citizens who have sued Kansas over this procedure have subsequently been added to the statewide voter rolls, suggesting that Kansas could, if it so chose, verify the citizenship status of applicants on its own. The ACLU, along with the League of Women Voters and other voting rights groups, have continued to challenge Kansas’s dual voter registration system — and the director of the Election Assistance Commission, which granted Kansas and three other states the authority to use its proof of citizenship requirement without the approval of the full commission — in court.

Kris Kobach, via Wikimedia Commons

Kris Kobach, via Wikimedia Commons

Since many voter registration applications are submitted through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, the offices of which use the federal voter registration form that does not require proof of citizenship (you only have to check a box affirming your citizenship), applications through the DMV account for many if not most of the voters on the suspense list. The majority of those applicants are under the age of 30.

According to the Associated Press, “Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach contends that since the provisions went into effect Jan. 1, 2013, a total of 244,699 people completed their registrations, accounting for about 94 percent of all applicants.” It would appear that either he or the ACLU is wrong. Given what we know about the level of respect Kobach has for the right to vote, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I trust the ACLU over him on this one.

All of these legal challenges are pending, and all decisions will undoubtedly be appealed. For the time being, this means that a solid majority of citizens who attempt to register to vote in Kansas will see their applications rejected.

(h/t TalkingPointsMemo)

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

Share This Post

© 2021 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS