Two Douglas County residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court to stop Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach from implementing a 90-day limit for keeping incomplete voter registration forms.
The number of incomplete registrations in the state has reached about 36,000, and most are lacking proof-of-citizenship documents such as a birth certificate or passport. Kobach announced earlier that starting Friday, incomplete registrations would be discarded after 90 days.
Plaintiffs Alder Cromwell and Cody Keener are represented by attorney Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat who ran unsuccessfully in 2014 against Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.
The law suit argues that the 90-day rule violates the National Voter Registration Act and due process rights.
“The law does not allow for a purging of voters like what Secretary Kobach is plotting to accomplish,” Davis said in a news release. “Voting is a fundamental right guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and it is imperative that this right be protected.”
Kobach has maintained that discarding the incomplete voter registrations doesn’t remove anyone from the voter rolls, since those applicants aren’t yet registered.
Under state law, Kansans must provide proof of citizenship to register.
The 90-day rule is needed as a housekeeping measure, Kobach has said, so county election officials at some point can stop trying to contact applicants to complete their registrations.