Judge: Kobach Had No Authority to Encumber Voting in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas judge has ruled that Secretary of State Kris Kobach has no legal right to bar people who register to vote using a federal form from voting in local and state elections.

Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis (Tice) ruled Friday in favor of two Kansas voters who challenged how Kobach is enforcing a state proof-of-citizenship requirement for registering to vote.

The judge said Kobach had no authority to “encumber the voting process” by declaring that voters who use a federal form to register can cast ballots only in federal races. The federal form does not require proof of citizenship.

The court found the right to vote under current Kansas law is not tied to the method of registration.

Kobach’s office declined comment on the ruling.