Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Kansas rushes through a rule change that could toss out 50,000 votes in Nov. 8 general election

The Kansas State Rules and Regulations Board on Tuesday ruled that the votes of about 17,000 residents who registered to vote at the motor-vehicle department won't be counted in state and local races, Hunter Woodall reports for The Kansas City Star. "The move appeases a recent court decision while also maintaining a 2013 Kansas law that requires new voters to show their proof of citizenship." The temporary rule will last for 120 days, meaning the number of votes that might be thrown out could rise to 50,000 by the Nov. 8 general election.

Notice of the meeting went out late Monday night and the meeting took place Tuesday morning, Woodall writes. Advanced voting for the Aug. 2 primary began today. All 165 seats in the Kansas legislature are up for election this year. The Senate has 32 Republicans and eight Democrats and the House has 97 Republicans and 28 Democrats.

"Federal law allows people to register to vote in motor vehicle offices across the country," Woodall writes. "In June, a federal appeals court upheld U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson’s preliminary injunction ordering Kansas to allow people who register without proving U.S. citizenship to vote in the upcoming races for president, U.S. Senate and U.S. House. Under the rule, such voters will receive provisional ballots, which will be set aside at polling places to be examined later. But county election officials won’t count their votes in state and local races or local ballot questions." (Read more)

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