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Kobach: Court ruling ends Kansas 'dual' voting plan

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says there's no need to consider a so-called dual voter registration system in light of a federal judge's ruling about the state's proof-of-citizenship law for new voters.

Under a dual registration system, voters using a state registration form and documenting their U.S. citizenship would be allowed to vote in all races.

Others could register with a federal form but vote only in presidential, congressional and U.S. Senate races. The federal form requires only that voters sign a statement saying they're citizens.

Kobach praised a ruling Wednesday from U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita ordering the federal government to modify its national registration form to help Kansas and Arizona enforce their proof-of-citizenship laws.

Before the decision, Kobach was considering a dual registration system.


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A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to help Kansas and Arizona enforce laws requiring new voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita, Kan., ruled Wednesday that the commission has no legal authority to deny requests from Kansas and Arizona to add state-specific instructions to a national voter registration form. The states sued to force the action.

Both states require new voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship to election officials. The federal registration form requires only that prospective voters sign a statement that they are citizens.

Melgren said the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to set voter qualifications, and Congress has not pre-empted it, even in enacting a federal voter-registration law in the 1990s.


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