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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.

Lawsuit Pushing To Suspend New Kansas Voting Rule

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo
Mark Johnson speaks against the new voter registration rule at a meeting earlier this month.

There’s a legal challenge underway to a new state regulation that would throw out some votes cast by thousands of Kansans. It affects people who registered to vote at the DMV but didn’t turn in a citizenship document required under Kansas law.

The rule says nearly 20,000 Kansans with a suspended voter registration would be allowed to cast ballots, but only their votes in federal races would be counted.

Mark Johnson, an attorney helping to challenging the rule, is encouraging people on the suspended list to vote in all races on the ballot, because he says a court could put the new rule on hold.

"If the injunction that this lawsuit is seeking is granted, then their votes would be counted. You can’t count a vote that hasn’t been cast,” Johnson says.

A federal court recently said the suspended voters must be allowed to vote, at least in federal races. Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office says counting only their votes in federal races complies with the ruling while still enforcing Kansas voting laws.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.