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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Kobach Over Dual Voter Registration System

kobach_jan_2016.jpg
Stephen Koranda
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KPR/File photo

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Kris Kobach over a dual voting process they say is illegal. The current system in place for Kansas elections would allow thousands of suspended voters to cast ballots only in federal elections, but not state or local ones.

A federal court ruling in May stated that forcing someone to provide a birth certificate or passport when registering to vote at motor vehicle offices violates federal law. The judge ordered Kansas to register roughly 17,000 suspended voters.

Kris Kobach complied but said they’d only be allowed to cast ballots in federal races, not state or local ones.

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, says that goes against a previous court ruling that having two categories of voters is illegal.

“A voter is either registered or not," Ho says. "You can’t be half registered and only be permitted to vote for some offices, but not others.”

The ACLU of Kansas has asked that a hearing be called immediately. Dale Ho says they hope to grant state and local voting rights to those who are affected by the dual voting system in time for the primary elections.

Kansans who haven't provided proof of citizenship when using other methods to register to vote are still barred from casting ballots in any races.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

 
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