Voting plan – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach wants to create a framework whereby some Kansans would be eligible to vote in congressional and presidential races but not for state or local candidates. Other Kansans could vote for all candidates and issues on the ballot. If this sounds like a mess, it is. It’s also a stain on Kansas, harking back to post-Civil War days in the South when black citizens sometimes had to register multiple times and meet stiffer requirements to vote in state elections than the federal government required. The Legislature should repeal the law requiring proof of citizenship – or risk a fiasco in the 2014 elections.
There are a number of ways Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach could improve the accuracy and integrity of the state’s election system. Creating a two-tiered voter-registration system whereby some voters would be qualified to cast ballots only in federal races is not one of them. Kobach claims that his efforts have nothing to do with suppressing the vote in Kansas, but the confusion and uncertainty his legal machinations are causing are almost certain to have exactly that effect.