More details emerge on Republican vote suppression | Arkansas Blog

More details emerge on Republican vote suppression


KRIS KOBACH: Working to make it harder to vote.
  • KRIS KOBACH: Working to make it harder to vote.
Documents unsealed yesterday in a federal lawsuit in Kansas provide more details on planning by Kris Kobach, the Republican Kansas secretary of state, to find ways to block more people from voting.

Kobach had resisted providing documents sought by the ACLU.

Late Thursday, a federal judge in Kansas unsealed two documents that show how Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach hoped to make it easier for states to require proof of citizenship for voter registration — a policy that research has shown represses minority voters — and how Kobach advised the incoming Trump administration on the potential changes.

Both documents show amendments Kobach hoped to make to the federal National Voting Rights Act, or NVRA, which says states can only require “the minimum amount of information necessary” to prove citizenship. In 2011, Kobach introduced a law that requires residents to provide proof of citizenship in order to complete a voter registration. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued Kobach over the Kansas law, which it says violates the NVRA’s “minimum amount” requirement.

This has national implications because Kobach is the effective leader of a so-called election integrity commission of the Trump administration whose driving purpose is to put up new bars to voting that have a disproportionate impact on the poor, minorities and college students — all more likely to vote Democratic. A former Arkansas legislator who's now a lobbyist, David Dunn, got a seat on the commission thanks to a friendship with Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin, who's emulated some of Kobach's tactics in Arkansas. Dunn has insisted he won't be part of any vote purge movement by the commission.

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