Kris Kobach says citizenship law did not hurt voter registration

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Secretary of State Kris Kobach says that the proof of citizenship law did not hurt voter registration before this year’s primary elections. This comes after a Shawnee County district judge ruled Friday that the votes of 17,500 people whose registrations had been questioned won’t be thrown out in tomorrow’s election.

“We are seeing registration continue to increase at a rapid pace,” he says. “And the proof of citizenship law has had no adverse impact on that.”

Kansas has set an all-time record with 1,750,000 registered voters. Kobach expects 420,000 of them to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s primary. That’s 24 percent of all registered voters that are predicted to participate in the primary election this year. That’s slightly above the 23 percent voter turnout in 2012.

He went on to say that the vast majority of Americans already have easy access to a document proving their citizenship.

“Our law is very permissive and very helpful to allow people who don’t have access to get a replacement Kansas birth certificate or if they’ve provided it at some previous Kansas agency, we will find it for them,” he said.

The Shawnee County Election Office has seen a decrease in the number of voters who don’t provide citizenship documents.

“That’s because we have been so aggressive and making sure people know we need those documents,” says Shawnee County Election Commissioner Andrew Howell.

Kobach also says that 94 percent of people complete the registration process and the rest likely won’t turn out to vote.

Shawnee County is expecting voter turnout to be at 33 percent. Lyon County Elections Coordinator Tammy Vopat says she expects a turnout of about 30 percent tomorrow; the same percentage as in the 2014 primary. In riley county, Election Director Rich Vargo says he expects voter turnout in the mid to high 20 percent range.

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