What will Kansas do, with thousands of potential voters in limbo? Kansas and Arizona passed laws requiring people to show proof of citizenship if they want to register to vote. But anyone who registers using the federal “motor voter” form just has to say he or she is a citizen. In January, Barton County had 315 “suspense voters,” and 200 of those registrations were pending because proof of citizenship had not been submitted.
Statewide, back in January, there were 24,035 suspense voters; 1,245 had not yet turned 18 years old; 2,589 had submitted incomplete applications; and 19,732 had not submitted proof of citizenship.
It seemed Kansas and Arizona would win the right to have the federal form re-written to accommodate our special laws when U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ruled that way. But now a federal appeals court has granted MALDEF’s request for a stay on the ruling. MALDEF is known as “The Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America.”
According to the civil right group, “Arizona and Kansas have never been able to show that a single non-citizen used the federal voter registration post card to register to vote.” And yet, thousands of potential votes are being hindered.
We need to fix this now.