Taking action for racial and economic equity.

KanVote Call to Action: Secretary of State Kris Kobach

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach

ROLE IN THE PROBLEM: As Kansas’s chief elections officer, Secretary Kobach has overseen the suspension of the voter rights of approximately 20,000 Kansans as a result of the voter ID and voter registration restrictions that he drafted into the SAFE act. Rather than work towards a solution that would restore Kansas voters’ rights, he has instead spearheaded a lawsuit against a federal commission in an attempt to legitimize the voter registration restriction deemed unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.

Secretary Kobach should respond to this voter crisis by utilizing his administrative abilities to process the voter registration applications of the over 15,000 Kansans currently in suspended status. Kobach should cease new suspensions that result from the new requirement until a change in the law can be implemented to prevent the ongoing mass suspension of voter rights.

HIS RESPONSE: As part of our day of action, KanVote requested a meeting with the Office of the Kansas Secretary of State. While it was made clear that Secretary of State Kobach, our state’s chief elections officer, would likely not be available, we were assured that an official from his office would available to hear our concerns and answer our questions. However, when we arrived Kobach’s spokesperson, Kay Curtis, informed our leadership team that no one from the office would be made available because of conflicting views between SCA and Kobach on the topic of immigration.  We were also told that his office is unwilling to issue a statement regarding the mass suspension of voters.

With over 60 constituents present, including community and faith leaders, as well several suspended voters, the people were unsatisfied with the response from the secretary of state’s office. As a response, about 50 people submitted Kansas Open Records Act requests for Secretary Kobach’s calendar. What they wanted to know was what the state’s chief elections official has been doing while nearly 16,000 Kansans’ voter rights were being suspended, and what he had going on that was more important than assuring his constituents that he was working towards a solution.

Concerned citizens line up to deliver open records action at Kobach’s office

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