Kansas Under Fire for “Unjust, Unfair” Voter Registration Requirement

By Erin Ferns Lee November 22, 2013

Kansas Voter Registration Card

Yesterday, the ACLU filed suit in Kansas over the state’s new “two-tier” voting system that excludes voters from participating in state elections if they do not show proof of citizenship. The lawsuit is just one more spotlight on the state’s troublesome voter registration law.

“The ACLU says that the two-tier system denies some Kansas voters equal protection under the state constitution,” creating a “class of voters” who can vote for the president, but not state officials, writes Martha T. Moore at USA Today. Currently, about 18,000 first-time voter registrants are not allowed to vote in state or local elections.

In a separate case, Kansas and Arizona are suing the federal Election Assistance Commission to “be able to impose the proof of citizenship requirement on voters for all elections.” Last week, Project Vote filed to intervene in the case.

“Project Vote, a non-partisan group that works to register minority and other under-represented groups of voters, has sought to intervene in the federal lawsuit between the states and the Election Assistance Commission, arguing against the proof of citizenship requirement in the states,” writes Moore. “The requirement is ‘unfair, unjust and exactly the opposite of what we want to do,” says Sarah Massey, Project Vote spokeswoman. ‘We want people to vote.‘”

Other voting rights groups have filed to intervene separately, including Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the League of Women Voters. and the Brennan Center for Justice.

Photo by richiec via Creative Commons