Topeka, KS - A state board has rejected proposed temporary changes to the Kansas law requiring proof of citizenship for newly registered voters.
The change proposed Tuesday by Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in response to a glitch that caused delays to nearly 12,000 voter registration applications. Kansas now requires that new applications to register to vote also include proof of citizenship.
Now the Kansas Democratic Party is jumping in on the story.
"12,000 Kansans have had their right to vote taken away by Kris Kobach," says a press release from the party.
"Kansans who have registered to vote but will not be allowed to vote in 2014 as it sits right now," says Dakota Loomis with the Democratic Party. "Because of these new rules and because their (potential voters) documents haven't been forwarded on from the DMV to the county elections officers. So it's a real problem here in Kansas where people have followed all the rules, done everything the Secretary of State has asked them to do, and still they are not eligible to vote now because the government entities are not being able to process their documents."
A new state computer system that was supposed to provide that verification to the secretary of state's office hasn't started sending the information to election officials.
The rule change would have allowed those individuals to cast a provisional vote in the next election and then bring proof of citizenship to election officials before the votes are certified.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach offered the following response on Thursday: "The Kansas law requiring proof of citizenship passed with overwhelming legislative majorities, including 3/4 of Democrats in the Senate and 2/3 of the Democrats in the House. The Kansas Democrat Party evidently disagrees with its own legislators. Regardless the system is working well. It is hardly surprising that some newly registered voters are taking their time providing citizenship documents. The next major election is still 16 months away."
Some in Kobach's office point out on Thursday there are many chances to still get registered. They say the requirements are spelled out in the website: http://www.gotvoterid.com
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