Eagle editorial: Stand up to Kobach

08/23/2013 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:18 AM

When the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship requirement to register to vote, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach assured Kansans that their state’s requirement was OK. Nothing to see here, folks.

But later Kobach said that he was considering a bizarre scheme to divide registered voters into two groups – those who could vote for all races and issues, and those who could vote only in federal races. That appeared to recognize that Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship law as implemented could not survive legal challenge.

Now Kobach is suing the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to try to force it to modify the federal voter registration form to allow for requiring proof of citizenship – more recognition that Kansas’ law won’t hold up.

Rather than let Kobach continue this charade, other state leaders need to stand up. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Gov. Sam Brownback need to speak out and defend the 15,000 Kansans so far who have had their voting rights “suspended.” And Kansas legislators need to realize that they were misled by phony fears of voter fraud and rescind the proof-of-citizenship requirement.

If they won’t step up and take charge, it will be up to the courts to rein in Kobach – again.

Voters also should send Kobach a message next election – assuming he lets them vote.

For the editorial board, Phillip Brownlee

Join the Discussion

The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service