The Buzz

November 21, 2013

ACLU sues Kobach, claiming two-tier voter registration system illegal

ACLU claims dual registration would set up different rules in federal, state elections.

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

The American Civil Liberties Union

has filed suit to stop a dual system of voter registration in Kansas.

Secretary of State

Kris Kobach, working with a law passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Sam Brownback

, has told county election authorities to keep a record of new registrants.

His plan calls for prohibiting new registrants who don’t provide proof of citizenship from voting in state elections.

Voting in federal elections would be permitted.

The ACLU — and two plaintiffs — says such a dual system is unconstitutional. They’ve asked a judge in Topeka to stop the system.

From the ACLU’s release:

“It makes absolutely no sense that someone would be qualified to vote for president, but not for governor,” said

Dale Ho

, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.


“Another day, another ACLU lawsuit,” Kobach said this afternoon.

He called the legal action “strange” and “surprising” because he wants what they want — a single-tier registration system.

In Kobach’s view, though, that single tier system should include a citizenship proof requirement for


federal and state elections.

“They’re suing to stop the very thing I’m trying to stop, which is a two-tiered system,” he said.

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