May 19, 2016

Kris Kobach might not get to restrict voting rights as much as he wants to.

The Kansas Secretary of State decided that the 1993 Motor Voter act (federal law) was giving certain of those people a "magic path" to voter registration.

Yes, Kris, that was the point of the law. All of a sudden it is easier to register to vote. Like, magic!

But Kris Kobach doesn't like magic that helps those people get to the polls, in part because enough of them would vote his butt right out of office. Kobach wants all registrants to have to provide documented proof of US Citizenship, like a passport, in order to register to vote. So his party in the Kansas Legislature made sure that is a requirement in the Secretary of State's office.

It is not a requirement in the DMV office because...federal law, er, I mean, magic path. The magic path that doesn't require the poll tax of a passport fee or birth certificate re-print.

So because federal law doesn't count magic path those people, Kobach removed 18,000 voters from the rolls who did not provide the DMV with proof of citizenship.

A federal judge said enough of that nonsense, Kris, we know what you are doing. Kris whined that now his office will have to spend a WHOLE HOUR pulling those disenfranchised voters' info out of the system, and then will have to MAIL notification that they are registered to them, and that's a total pain plus expensive. Judge did not appear to be super sorry.

Kobach said the injunction would also cause administrative chaos in preparing for the August and November elections. While affected voters can be identified in about an hour of computer time, county election offices would have to change all 18,000 registrations individually and send out notices, he said.

Robinson was unsympathetic to that argument.

“Although the Court is cognizant that the injunction will cause some administrative burden to the State, it is a burden that is outweighed by the risk of thousands of otherwise eligible voters being disenfranchised in upcoming federal elections,” the judge wrote.

Robinson noted the state identified only three illegal voters and 14 illegal registrants from 1995 to 2013.

“On this record, the Court cannot find that the State’s interest in preventing noncitizens from voting in Kansas outweighs the risk of disenfranchising thousands of qualified voters,” Robinson wrote.

The administrative expense of letting the people of Kansas vote is apparently burdensome, but making taxpayers pay state lawyers to appeal this judge's ruling immediately in the, um, I hate to say this Kris, FEDERAL court system, was no problem. Kris Kobach can always find the money to push further disenfranchisement of those voters. It's like magic.

Sadly, these voters who get their rights back will only be allowed to vote in Federal elections, because Kansas has jurisdiction over state and local offices, which is clearly why Kris Kobach still has a job.

That said, I am really looking forward to seeing how the higher court, and especially Ruth Bader Ginsburg, should we be so lucky, waves her "magic" wand all over Kris Kobach.

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