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ACLU challenges Kansas voter registration law

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a class action suit [complaint] against Kansas on Thursday on behalf of six individuals challenging Kansas' voter registration law. Since 2011, Kansas has been one of only four states that requires [NYT report] proof of citizenship for voter registration. The ACLU claims that Kansas' controversial law violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which allows voter registration upon obtaining a driver's license. Kris Kobach [personal profile], the former Kansas Republican chairman responsible for the bill's inception, responded [WP report] by defending the state's right to question citizenship. Kobach elaborated that the registration requirement places a negligible burden upon Kansas citizens and is crucial to preventing voting-fraud.

Voting rights remain a controversial legal issue in the US. A partnership of voting rights groups last week filed suit [JURIST report] against the US Election Assistance Commission stating their decision limiting the use of national voter registration in Alabama, Kansas and Georgia deprives eligible voters of the right to vote. Last month a judge for the US District Court of the Middle District of North Carolina declined to grant [JURIST report] a motion by the NAACP and other plaintiffs that would have kept the state from implementing a voter identification law in the upcoming March elections. In May the New Hampshire Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] a 2012 law requiring voters to be state residents, not just domiciled in the state. In March the US Supreme Court declined [JURIST report] to hear challenges to Wisconsin's voter ID law. Also in March Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a new law [JURIST report] that made Oregon the first state in the nation to institute automatic voter registration. A federal appeals court rejected [JURIST report] a Kansas rule that required prospective voters to show proof-of-citizenship documents before registering using a federal voter registration form in November 2014.

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