Sunflower Community Action

Over 1,300 Kansans Call on AG Schmidt to Break Silence on Voter Reg.

Wichita, KS – Today KanVote will submit a petition to Attorney General Derek Schmidt with the names of over 1,300 Kansans  calling on him to issue a statement regarding the validity Kansas’s proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration.

The Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law essentially identical to Kansans’ proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration. The Arizona measure required those registering to vote to show documentary proof of citizenship beyond what is required by federal voter registration forms. In Kansas, however, many of those who are seeking to register have complied with the state’s proof-of-citizenship requirement, but have still ended up in “suspended” status.

Since the Arizona ruling, it has been discovered that over one-third of voter registration applications submitted this year (approximately 14,000) are being held in “suspense” as a result of the new registration requirement.

Yesterday, The American Civil Liberties Union announced  that it will take legal action if the state does not comply with federal voting law as outlined by the National Voter Registration Act, the basis for the Supreme Court decision. The state has 90 days to comply with federal law before facing legal action.

With a rate of approximately 2,000 Kansas voters being suspended each month, and an imminent legal challenge facing the state, Attorney General Schmidt should issue a statement so that state officials can take corrective measures before any more damage is done.

Here is some of what the petition signers are saying about AG Schmidt’s silence:

This is an insult to those of us who were born and raised as U.S. citizens, who worked, and are proud to be Americans.”

-          Mary Harvey, Kansas City, KS 

“In the name of ‘liberty and justice for all’, please issue a legal opinion on the validity of our state’s proof of citizenship requirement to register to vote. As you know, the same guy authored both the Arizona and the Kansas laws to restrict voting. Please act on this sooner rather than later.”

-          Noble Morrell, Topeka

“Attorney General, you are tasked with protecting the rights of the people of this State. We pay your salary. Just thought you might need a reminder of those two facts. Action is required.”

-          Paula Sayles, Shawnee

“Why does the Supreme Court ruling on the Hard 50 sentence have so much impact on Kansas law when the same Court ruled that the Arizona voter registration law was unconstitutional, and has apparently no effect on Kansas’ voter proof of citizenship requirement?”

-          Roger Bean, Waterville 

For interviews with petition signers and KanVote leaders