Yael T. Abouhalkah

Kris Kobach’s new humiliating defeat a victory for Kansas voters

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost yet another legal battle Friday while trying to make it more difficult to vote in the state.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost yet another legal battle Friday while trying to make it more difficult to vote in the state. File photo

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has suffered another stinging, embarrassing loss in court. And that’s a victory for the rights of voters in the Sunflower State.

Kobach’s anti-voter efforts were slapped down Friday by a federal appeals court in the District of Columbia.

In a preliminary injunction, the court said Kansas, Georgia and Alabama couldn’t require residents to prove they are U.S. citizens when using a federal form to register to vote.

Earlier this year, the often-smug Kobach had assured people that the courts would uphold his attempt to make it harder to vote.

But that hasn’t happened at any step of the way, as courts often have ruled against Kobach’s disdainful attitude toward voters — especially those who have low incomes or are minorities.

Friday’s decision also was a rebuke to the actions taken by Brian Newby, the executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Newby is a former Johnson County Election Office director who was appointed to that role by Kobach.

After Newby took office, he suddenly (and without commission approval) did something Kobach supports. That was to basically require people to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote with the federal form.

But that is not required under U.S. law, one reason the Justice Department is not defending Newby in lawsuits against his actions.

When the League of Women Voters and others raised objections, Alabama and Georgia did not enforce Newby’s new requirement. But Kobach and Kansas tried to, leading to further legal battles.

The Associated Press reported that Friday’s ruling says the three states need to “immediately remove the proof-of-citizenship requirement from all forms. It requires the states to treat all registration applications filed since January 29 as if they did not have the requirement.”

That should mean voters will be able to take part in the presidential election in November.

This is a positive outcome.

Kobach has proven to be pretty much a failed, pathetic figure in his attempts to make it more difficult to vote in the Sunflower State.

He has forced Kansas taxpayers to support these unnecessary ventures, all while muddying the waters for voters.

As long as Kobach stays losing, though, it appears voters’ rights will keep winning in Kansas.

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