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Win For Kobach In Federal Court

KSCB News - December 15, 2013 10:16 pm

It was a partial victory in federal court Friday for Kansas’ Secretary of State Kris Kobach after a federal judge ordered action be taken within a month on the state’s request to change a federal voter registration form.

The federal form is used in less than 1% of voter registrations in Kansas but provides a loop hole to Kansas’ requirement demanding proof of citizenship. The federal form only requires a sworn signature.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared Arizona’s voter identification laws unconstitutional declared the federal form must be used but did allow states to sue to change the form.

That’s what Kobach was doing Friday on behalf of both Kansas and Arizona. Kobach wrote the Arizona law as well as the Kansas version.

"It’s a problem when you have aliens on the voting roles, the problem is sometimes they vote and in Kansas they do vote," said Kobach outside court. "They may even be doing so innocently thinking they’re supposed to go vote, but the problem is whenever a non-citizen votes it effectively cancels out the vote of a citizen."

Critics of voter identification laws contend they’re designed to suppress votes in the minority and elderly communities.

"He is wasting tax payer money again by suing the federal government," said Jean Schodorf. The former Republican state senator from Wichita has switched parties and plans to challenge Kobach for his Secretary of State job in 2014.

Schodorf says Kobach is attempting to keep voters away from the polls by making the system complicated and confusing.

"The Secretary of State blew it when he tried to implement the present voter id law," said Schodorf. "He blew it. And he’s doing a terrible job."

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission must now make a decision on Kansas and Arizona’s requests to change the federal voter registration form by Jan. 17, 2014.


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