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Kris Kobach asks federal appeals court to reinstall voter ID rules in Kansas

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Kansas on Tuesday asked a U.S. appeals court to reinstate rules requiring proof of U.S. citizenship from people registering to vote, the latest political battle over stringent identification laws enacted in Republican-led states ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The mandate that Kansans present passports, birth certificates or other proof of citizenship when registering to vote while obtaining driver’s licenses was challenged by a U.S. District Court judge in May.

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Her ruling restored the right to vote in the Nov. 8 election for thousands of people who were asked if they wanted to register while at motor vehicle offices, but not required to submit the additional documentation. Judge Julie Robinson ordered those people to be re-registered. She said that Kansas could identify only three non-citizens who voted between 2003 and the onset of the law in 2013.

Kansas’ law is one of the strictest voter identification statutes in the country, making the state a symbol for mostly Republican Party supporters who say the rules are meant to prevent voter fraud. Opponents, mostly Democrats, say they discriminate against minorities.

“Every time a noncitizen votes, it effectively cancels out the vote of a citizen,” Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said in court filings ahead of Tuesday’s oral arguments.

In arguments before the Denver-based U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Kobach said, “We don’t need to be authorized by the federal government” to set up rules to manage state and local elections.

Arguing for the lower court’s decision to be upheld, the American Civil Liberties Union specifically targeted a portion of Kansas law that deals with people who register to vote at motor vehicle department offices.

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The ACLU argued that the requirement conflicts with a federal law from 1993 aimed at making it easier for people to register to vote by doing so when they apply for a driver’s license.

Because that law does not require people to bring more documentation than they would need to get a driver’s license, Robinson ruled that about 18,000 people whose registration had been invalidated by the state should be re-registered.

Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump, who earlier this month said that voters who opposed his candidacy are “going to vote 10 times,” is asking supporters to volunteer to be election observers at the polls. He routinely calls Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton “crooked” and has said that if he loses, it will be because the system is rigged against him.

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Led by lawyers from the ACLU, opponents of the voter identification laws have filed lawsuits in several states, successfully overturning or delaying implementation of some statutes.

Last month, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that voters who do not have photo identification will be able to vote in the presidential election, and the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a North Carolina law requiring voters to bring a photo ID to the polls.

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Seventeen states have put new voting restrictions in place since the last presidential contest, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Grant McCool)


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Saint Paul police chief condemns tactics used on George Floyd: ‘We’re here to serve — not choke people!’

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Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell told CNN's Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow on Thursday that he's showing his officers footage from George Floyd's death as an example of how not to handle a suspect.

In particular, Axtell told the CNN hosts that all of the officers in his department said that the actions of the officers in Minneapolis to Floyd were completely unacceptable.

"Every police officer that I know that I interacted with yesterday in the city of Saint Paul, there was not one who felt that what they observed on that video in Minneapolis was in any way, shape, or form acceptable police behavior," he said. "It is disgusting, it is dehumanizing, it is something that absolutely has to stop."

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WATCH: Man holds black DoorDash driver at gunpoint for delivering food to an Arizona apartment complex

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A man in Mesa, Arizona, is facing assault and weapons charges after he allegedly held a delivery driver at gunpoint this Sunday, 12News reports.

Police say Valentino Tejeda pulled a gun on 24-year-old Dimitri Mills in the parking lot of Tejeda's apartment complex, and when Mills and his girlfriend tried to explain they were making a food delivery to a neighbor, Tejeda still insisted that Mills, who is black, was somehow a threat.

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Trump became enthralled with presidency while watching balloons drop on 1988 GOP convention stage

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Donald Trump became enthralled with the presidency while watching balloons drop for George H.W. Bush at the 1988 Republican National Convention.

The celebrity real estate developer had been taken to New Orleans by his longtime pal Roger Stone, a Republican political operative hoping to spark an interest in Trump to run for the presidency, reported Politico.

“I got the definite impression that Roger Stone was preparing Donald Trump to run for president,” said Michael Caputo, a Stone associate who worked for Trump's 2016 campaign. “I didn’t know when it would be — but it was very clear to me that he wasn’t there for the cocktails.”

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