voter registration

A devastating legal blow last week to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s voter fraud platform will, in all likelihood, land in the lap of one of six men vying for his job.

That person could decide whether to press or kill Kobach’s appeal of a federal ruling that blocks the office from making would-be voters dig up birth certificates or other documents that show U.S. citizenship.

Kansas will no longer be allowed to block people from registering to vote if they don’t provide documents such as birth certificates or passports to prove their citizenship.

On Monday, a federal judge ruled that doing so violates the U.S. Constitution and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

Read the complete ruling

“It's a 100 percent win,” said Mark Johnson, a Kansas City attorney who represented one of the plaintiffs, Parker Bednasek. “We got everything we asked for. Can't say that very often.”

Friday is the deadline for candidates in Kansas to make it official by filing with the secretary of state’s office to appear on the ballot.

That date is also an important cutoff for voters. It’s the final day people in Kansas can switch political parties before the primary election on Aug. 7.

Here are four things to know about the deadline:

     Party switching

People who want to switch political parties have to do it before Friday, June 1, at noon.

Kansas News Service/File photo

A federal judge has held Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt for failing to fully register and notify eligible voters he’d blocked.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson found Kobach failed to get standard postcards sent out to those would-be voters confirming their registrations and failed to update the County Election Manual used by local election officials processing voter applications, as she had ordered him to do in May 2016.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

A nationwide youth movement focusing on the issue of gun violence is also trying to get more young people registered to vote.

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show young people historically have the lowest voting and registration rates among all age groups.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

How far must people go to prove they’re really Americans when they register to vote?

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

A Kansas law that blocked tens of thousands of voter registrations goes on trial this week in federal court — testing whether fraud is common enough to warrant tougher registration rules.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Legal challenges to a Kansas law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote are headed to trial next month.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson on Friday added additional days to a previously scheduled trial that begins March 6 in Kansas City, Kansas. The new schedule sets aside eight days for the bench trial.

American Civil Liberties Union sued Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on behalf of the League of Women Voters and voters over the requirement that people produce a document such as a birth certificate or U.S. passport to register at motor vehicle offices.

Carla Eckels / KMUW/File photo

Some states fear that a Kansas voter record system could fall prey to hackers, prompting a delay in the annual collection of nearly 100 million people’s records into a database scoured for double-registrations.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

A federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union questions the security of a multistate voter registration database championed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

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