Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) is considering a plan that could split voters in federal and state elections, depending on the kind of form they use to register, Right Wing Watch reported.
Kobach’s idea would bar voters who register using the federal form issued as part of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) — also known as the “Motor Voter” bill — from voting in state elections unless they comply with a law requiring state-issued photo identification at the polls. Voters looking to take part in both elections must provide proof of citizenship when registering.
The plan is already being opposed by voters’ rights groups like the League of Women Voters of Kansas, who said on Friday it would not work.
“When we can’t handle registrations, the process of applications and processing registrations, how are we going to separate ballots?” league president Dolores Furtado told the Lawrence Journal-World. “This is creating a problem. Whenever we make things complex, people shun away.”
The two-tier plan would be a way to get around a June 2013 Supreme Court ruling that the NVRA superceded an Arizona state law enabling poll workers to reject voters who used the federal form but did not meet the proof-of-citizenship requirement.
The voting status of about 12,000 Kansas voters who registered with the NVRA form was left in limbo following a July 2013 ruling by the state election board that they not be forced to cast provisional ballots as a result of a computer error delaying their eligibility from being confirmed.
“I don’t think it’s a major problem,” Kobach told the Wichita Eagle at the time. “This is a pretty tiny percentage of 1.8 million voters. It’s a small number of people. We’ll see as the coming elections unfold how many actually come out to vote.”
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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