The lawsuit against Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of the proof-of-citizenship requirement, argues that it and the planned removal starting Friday of 30,000 names from voter registration rolls violates both federal law and prospective voters’ constitutional right to due legal process. The suit also asks a federal court to overturn the Kansas requirement that voters supply documents proving their citizenship. “Discriminatory and unfair registration laws and procedures can have a direct and damaging effect on voter participation in elections for federal office and disproportionately harm voter participation by various groups, including racial minorities”, the men say in the complaint.
Kobach described the culling of pending applications as just “common sense” to maintain accurate records.
The lawsuit seeks a court order blocking the state from enforcing the proof-of-citizenship requirement and purging its voter registration rolls as planned to remove those with incomplete registrations.
Kobach championed the requirement as a measure that would prevent non-citizens from voting, particularly immigrants living in the US illegally. “Voting is a fundamental right guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and it is imperative that this right be protected”. “The law does not allow for a purging of voters like what Secretary Kobach is plotting to accomplish”, Davis said in a written statement.
“It’s impossible to purge someone from a list one is not on”, Kobach said.
That will allow county election officials to discontinue their efforts to contact the people who started but didn’t complete the process of registering to vote.
Kobach said county officials should finish winnowing their records within a few working days. Kobach’s new rule would cancel those incomplete registrations once they are 90 days old.
An analysis conducted by a Wichita newspaper, determined that 40 percent of the people with incomplete registrations were under the age of 30.
Kobach, in his second term as secretary of state, persuaded lawmakers this year to authorize his office to prosecute election fraud cases. It takes effect Friday.