voter fraud

Registering to vote in the upcoming Kansas primaries? A federal court ruling issued last week means you won’t need your passport, birth certificate or other citizenship papers to do that.

That ruling took immediate effect.

But Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach plans to appeal. So what happens next? Here’s a summary based on interviews with legal experts.

The status check

Kansas cannot require people to prove their U.S. citizenship before they can vote, a federal judge says, ruling that the state's election law is unconstitutional. The judge sharply criticized Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has based much of his political career on worries about voter fraud.

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.”

Police arrested 18 people protesting policies pushed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach after the demonstrators occupied part of his office.

Police led them past other protesters to a bus waiting outside the Kobach’s office.

A federal appeals panel on Friday OK'd state lawmakers' efforts to rewrite Texas' embattled voter ID law to address discriminatory faults previously identified by the courts. 

A federal judge has ordered Texas officials to comply with the National Voter Registration Act and motor voter laws.

The order could affect an estimated 1.5 million Texans.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is defending Kansas' strict voter registration laws in federal court in a trial that has now entered its second week.

Some lawmakers said Monday that putting Kansas at the center of a database intended to root out voter fraud might eventually put it in the middle of a lawsuit if things go wrong.

More than two dozen states compare voter rolls using the Crosscheck database of some 90 million-plus records that Kansas hosts.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says he plans to continue his crusade to curb what he calls an epidemic of voter fraud in Texas, reports The Texas Observer.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General remains under felony indictment for allegedly violating state securities law. Paxton sent a letter to the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Election Integrity this week, in which he outlined his plan to purge voter rolls of non-citizens and to ensure that voters aren’t registered in multiple states.

The Kansas Secretary of State’s office took a trove of public records offline Thursday after a technology website discovered that they reveal partial Social Security numbers for potentially thousands of state officials.

From Texas Standard.

On Monday, the Washington Post broke the story of the now-defunct voter fraud commission purchasing Texas voter records. The story began:

“President Donald Trump’s voting commission asked every state and the District of Columbia for detailed voter registration data, but in Texas’ case it took an additional step: It asked to see Texas records that identify all voters with Hispanic surnames, newly released documents show.”

Officials from both the White House and the state of Texas say the data was never delivered, because of a lawsuit brought by Texas voting rights advocates after the request was made.

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.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach touts the program, called Crosscheck, as a tool in combating voter fraud. Last year, 28 states submitted voters’ names, birth dates, and sometimes partial social security numbers, to Kobach’s office.

The White House may have scrapped the controversial national election integrity commission that he was helping to lead, but Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is still rooting out alleged voter fraud in his home state.

Armed with powers not usually assigned to a secretary of state, Kobach filed a pair of criminal complaints Thursday against two people he said voted when, and more, than they had the right to.

Newly unsealed testimony given by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach suggests he knew that the federal motor voter law might have to be amended for states to require proof of citizenship for voter registration.

Newly unsealed documents show Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach had proposed changes to federal voting law when meeting last year with then President-elect Donald Trump. The American Civil Liberties Union wanted to disclose the documents in a lawsuit over Kansas voting rules.

At issue were two documents. One was a partially obscured paper Kobach carried into a meeting in November 2016 with Trump, and the second was a document distributed in his office.

The American Civil Liberties Union launched a national voting rights campaign during a Sunday night event in Lawrence that was broadcast online throughout the country. It was the start of a grassroots effort, called Let People Vote, which the ACLU says is a chance to go on the offensive.

This weekend in Lawrence, the ACLU will kick off a national campaign on voting rights called Let People Vote. The group chose Kansas because of the state’s strict voting policies pushed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Micah Kubic, with the ACLU of Kansas, says the group is moving to a more proactive position.

“When we shift from defense to offense it means that we cannot and will not only file lawsuits and do litigation,” Kubic says.

Fellow members of a presidential commission on election integrity pushed back against Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s argument that out-of-state voters may have swayed the outcome of a Senate election in New Hampshire.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is touting a controversial multistate voter database as a key resource in response to U.S. Department of Justice questions about Kansas’ compliance with federal voting law.

In a recent letter to the Justice Department, obtained by the Kansas News Service through an open records request, Kobach describes the database as “one of the most important systems” Kansas uses to check the accuracy of voter rolls.

Candidates are lining up to run for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s job. The latest entrant has been feuding with Kobach over a claim he’s made in his campaign for governor.

DEBAIRD / CREATIVE COMMONS

Texas was blocked by a federal judge Wednesday from enforcing its revamped voter ID law.

As The New York Times reports, Federal Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled Wednesday that the law did not go far enough and perpetuated discrimination against black and Hispanic voters.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is also vice chairing a presidential commission on elections, was due in federal court Thursday morning to give a deposition in an ongoing voter registration case.

The morning he was due in federal court to give a deposition in an ongoing voter registration case, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach tweeted his support for President Trump’s proposal to curb legal immigration.

Trump announced Tuesday a plan to limit legal immigration to highly skilled workers able to pay their own way. Kobach, who is the vice chair of a White House commission on election integrity, praised the president for placing the interests of Americans ahead of “the aliens.”

The president’s advisory commission on election integrity has heightened talk about voting issues and election security. Two of the loudest voices in the discussion come from Kansas and Missouri, and they’re clashing over the issue.

Former Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander crossed the border and stopped recently in Douglas County, Kansas. He aimed some of his comments at Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Kander has been touring and talking voting policies, and he believes some of the rules pushed by Kobach are a bad idea.

50states.com

The number of Colorado voters who have canceled their registrations since President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission, headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, requested voter information earlier this month, is now up to 5,000.

As The Denver Post reports, there is no evidence that any were ineligible to vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas says wording on a state website might leave voters confused about whether they’re eligible to cast a ballot. The group wants Secretary of State Kris Kobach to make changes.

At issue is information about Kansas’ requirement that new voters prove their citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate or passport. Court rulings say that requirement currently doesn’t apply to people who register to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles or use the federal voter registration form.

50STATES.COM

Several thousand Colorado voters have canceled their registrations since President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission, headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, requested voter information earlier this month.

As The Denver Post reports, almost 3,400 voters canceled their voter registrations as of July 13, following the Trump administration’s request for voter information.

A state office that oversees attorneys will investigate a complaint against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Topeka resident Keri Strahler filed the complaint and made public the response from the office of the disciplinary administrator.

“The allegations contained in your letter will be investigated,” said the response signed by a staff member in the office, which is part of the judicial branch.

This story was updated Thursday to reflect a response from Secretary Kobach's office.

Kansans who registered to vote at the DMV or otherwise used the federal voter registration form are eligible to vote in all races, according to court rulings, whether they’ve provided a citizenship document or not. But those voters might have been confused by inconsistencies on Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's website.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:20 p.m. July 12 to reflect a response from Secretary Kobach's office. Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service are continuing to follow this issue.

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