Bloomberg News reports on the latest terrible idea from Republican opponents of voting rights: "Arizona and Kansas, where top state posts come up for grabs next year, are creating two-tiered voting systems to bar some residents from casting ballots in all but congressional races." The new rules, instituted by Republican elections officials, "are in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that bars Arizona from rejecting federal voter-registration forms that don’t include proof of citizenship, which is required by both states. To comply, both plan to provide those voters with ballots listing just federal races."
In Kansas at least, the problem is a great deal more complicated than that, as nearly 20,000 legally registered voters are still "in suspense" thanks to early glitches from the rollout of Republicans' latest voting restriction law. If Arizona and Kansas Republicans' so-called "two-tier" voter registration system is upheld by the courts, expect more Republican legislatures to adopt the practice to shield themselves from accountability.
There is a battle brewing in the Sunflower State, and it is the 460,000 students in Kansas’ public schools that may be the ultimate victims. At issue, whether the Kansas Legislature has to uphold the constitutional guarantee to fund education.
Republican legislators still refuse to delay or fix a disastrous new voting restriction that originally left more than 12,000 newly registered voters unable to cast ballots. Since July, that number has now jumped to 17,000 disenfranchised voters, with many more to come now that the Kansas DMV "no longer plans to require people renewing drivers’ licenses to produce proof that they live in the U.S. legally."
"Roughly one-third of all voter registration applications submitted in Kansas since Jan. 1 are in 'suspense' because applicants could not provide proof of citizenship," according to a report this week from the Kansas City Star.
But it's not because one third of Kansans registering to vote are secretly Kenyan radicals. Rather, "when people show proof of U.S. citizenship to get a driver’s license in Kansas, the documentation is not making it to election officials for voter registration purposes" under the terms of a new GOP voting requirement enacted last year. More than 11,000 voters' otherwise-lawful registrations are currently in limbo because of the law.