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Kansas Voter Law Facing New Scrutiny

Associated Press - December 27, 2013 9:59 am

A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in September in an appeal that could affect the voting rights of thousands of voters in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama in upcoming elections.

A proof-of-citizenship requirement for Kansas voters is likely to come under attack once the Legislature opens its annual session in January.

But the debate over the policy championed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach also will play in out in federal court.

The law took effect at the start of 2013. More than 19,000 Kansas residents have their registrations on hold because they haven’t provided election officials with papers documenting their U.S. citizenship.

Several Democratic lawmakers have proposed rewriting or repealing the proof-of-citizenship law. Even some of Kobach’s fellow Republicans in the GOP-dominated Legislature want to look for ways to shrink the list of affected voters.

Kansas and Arizona also have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to compel a federal agency to help their states carry out proof-of-citizenship requirements.

City of Salina