A case initiated against a Kansas law that required voters to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, was continued on Monday, with concluding arguments being presented by the lawyers. The supporters of the law have insisted that it is a necessary precaution to counter voter fraud, while the opposition says that statue is illegal.
The non-jury trial lasted for a total of seven days in the state of Kansas City, with Julie Robinson, the U.S. District Judge, saying she hasn’t yet made a decision. She says that she’ll be taking the case under submission and will be taking at least a month to draw a conclusion on the matter.
Legislatures led by the Republicans, have approved measures against voter fraud recently, with the Kansas law, taking affect back in 2013. The law in question, requires voters to present proof of U.S. citizenship, which could be in the form of a U.S. passport, a birth certificate or something else that verifies them as a citizen.
The advocates for the law say that it ensures the integrity of the elections, while the detractors say that a significant number of Democratic supporters is suppressed because of it. These supporters, they say, are comprised of minorities and the younger voters.
There is also a law in Kansas that allows voters to only provide documentation they would for a driver’s license, before proceeding to vote at state motor vehicle offices. The law was challenged by The American Civil Liberties Union, who said that it violated the National Voter Registration Act and thus filed a suit in February 2016.
The argument by Krish Kobach, who’s the Secretary of State of Kansas, was that in 2006, non-U.S. citizens that numbered at 129, had registered to vote in Kansas. He added that number paled in comparison to the current numbers, which he cited according to testimonies from experts. If the trend was assumed to continue, it would mean that the state of Kansas had between 1,067 and 33,001 illegally registered voters, the Republican Kobach added.
The argument was countered by ACLU, who said that most of these people didn’t vote. Not only that, misunderstandings and clerical errors were the caused of these voters registered as such. Dale Ho, lead attorney for the ACLU, said that the Secretary Kobach was mistaken and there was no evidence to support his claims.
In response, Kobach said that even a small number of illegal voters could influence the results of the election. The ID law requires documents that can be easily obtained and provided by the residents of Kansas, he added to his argument. He went on to conclude that those who provide these documents are not prevented by Kansas law to vote, and there was no evidence to suggest such a claim. Kobach has previously served in a commission to investigate voter fraud, which was appointed by the U.S. President Donald Trump but was closed down.
According to estimates from ACLU, between the years 2013 and 2016, 35,000 citizens had been blocked from registering to vote.