Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach recently said comparing voter registration applications against Kansas birth certificates reduced the backlog of registrants whose voting rights are on hold because they don’t meet the new proof of citizenship requirement according to the Wichita Eagle.
The comparison has cut the number of ineligible voters by 7,700. There are still about 12,500 prospective registrants who can't vote.
The backlog of suspended would-be voters is a significant concern to some legislators and voting-rights advocates who object to the Kobach-driven Secure and Fair Elections Act. The law requires voters to provide proof of citizenship before they can be eligible to vote.
Arizona has similar proof-of-citizenship rules. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that Arizona must register voters who use the federal form. The federal form does not require physical documents as proof of citizenship.
The Arizona secretary of state and Kobach have joined forces to force the federal Election Assistance Commission to add the states’ citizenship requirements to the instructions that accompany the federal form.
If the states lose the federal court case, Kobach has planned for a two-tiered voting system.
The Commission has no membership at this time. Senate President Obama’s nominations are trapped in Senate gridlock. Without a commission, U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ordered the commission’s paid staff to make a decision. The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11 and 12.
Melgren is a Kansas native, and was the U.S. attorney for Kansas under President George W. Bush, who later appointed him to the federal bench.