Opinion Columns & Blogs

Numbers of suspended voters didn’t used to worry Kobach

Kobach
Kobach

When Kansans have tried to register to vote since 2013 but failed to produce the documents proving U.S. citizenship, their names have gone on a lengthening list of “suspended voters.” Secretary of State Kris Kobach is poised to start purging those names after 90 days, arguing “it’s completely common sense” to set a time limit so officials needn’t keep sending reminders. Earlier this month, that step would have thrown out all but 4,200 people on a list of 32,000. But Kobach’s sense of urgency is a recent development. Two years ago, as the list approached 18,000 names, he counseled patience and suggested the would-be voters would follow through on the paperwork demand in time to vote in the next election, in 2014. “A lot of people, including me, sometimes procrastinate,” he told USA Today. “It’s not particularly surprising nor is it particularly worrying that 29 percent haven’t done it.” Meanwhile, the California Senate passed a bill on Thursday modeled after Oregon’s new law automatically registering all eligible residents to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license or state identification card. – Rhonda Holman

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