Clicking a register-to-vote link on Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s website leads users to a page of instructions that include a voter restriction struck down by a federal judge Monday, potentially putting Kobach in violation of the judge’s order.
In striking down the 2011 law requiring proof-of-citizenship for voter registration, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ordered Kobach to “ensure that all elections-
related public education materials (including but not limited to voter-aimed notices and websites, in all languages in which those documents are available, including English and Spanish) make clear that voter registration applicants need not provide DPOC in order to become registered to vote, and need not provide any additional information in order to complete their voter registration applications.”
After a day and a half of confusion, when county clerks were continuing to enforce the requirement in some circumstances while awaiting instructions from Kobach, his office sent them guidance Wednesday afternoon telling them to review their websites for any “any reference to a voter registration applicant being required to provide documentary proof of citizenship” and to remove those references “until you can post updated instructions and information to the public.”
As of Thursday morning, it appears the Kansas Secretary of State was not following his own directions.
Other references to the law remain live on the website as well.
His office did not return TPM’s inquiry, but had said previously that it plans to appeal Robinson’s decision to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Robinson, a George W. Bush-appointee, temporarily blocked enforcement of the proof-of-citizenship requirement on the federal form, used at DMVs and available online, in March of 2016 while the case was awaiting trial, on the grounds that allegations that it was a violation of the National Voter Registration Act were likely to succeed.
Her decision Monday, handed down after a seven-day trial this spring, said that the requirement was also a violation of the U.S. Constitution, meaning Kobach could not enforce it on the state voter registration form as well. The link on his website Thursday morning was to the state registration form.
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