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Crime and Courts

County: Grand Jury Petition On Voter Registrations Valid

kobach_jan_2016.jpg
Stephen Koranda
/
KPR/File photo

A Douglas County official says enough signatures have been gathered on Thursday to allow a grand jury to criminally investigate Secretary of State Kris Kobach's handling of Kansas' online voter registration system.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew says that the petition has more than the required number of verified signatures.

The petition seeks an investigation into whether Secretary Kobach's office committed election fraud and voter suppression by deleting registration data.

Spokesperson Craig McCullah, with the secretary of state's office, says there are no facts that support this claim.

"If you look at voter registration for 2016, we've once again hit a record with over 1.7 million registered voters across the state," McCullah says. "If any type of voter suppression was going on, we probably wouldn't see those record numbers year after year."

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing Kobach over voting rights issues, says it has seen no evidence of criminal conduct. Under a rarely used Kansas law, grand juries can be assembled by citizen petitions. The next step is a judge's review.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

 
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