Topeka The Kansas House has given first-round approval to Secretary of State Kris Kobach's bill requiring some potential voters to prove they're U.S. citizens before this year's presidential election.
The bill advanced Wednesday on a voice vote, with final House action expected Thursday.
The measure would impose the proof-of-citizenship requirement on June 15, more than six months ahead of schedule. It would apply to people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas.
Last year, legislators enacted a proof-of-citizenship requirement, but the rule doesn't take effect until Jan. 1, 2013.
Kobach says he wants the rule in place in time for the surge of voter registration that occurs before a presidential election. Critics say the bill will suppress voter participation.