TOPEKA — A key state senator is blocking a committee vote on Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s legislation to require new Kansas voters to prove their U.S. citizenship ahead of this year’s presidential election, possibly dooming the measure.
Chairwoman Terrie Huntington said Friday that she doesn’t plan to have her Senate Ethics and Elections Committee meet again this year. The committee had a hearing on Kobach’s bill Thursday, its last scheduled meeting of the year, but adjourned without acting on the measure.
“The committee, it’s not their choice to meet again,” Huntington said. “We are through.”
Legislators enacted a law last year requiring people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to provide proof of their citizenship, but it doesn’t take effect until January. Kobach wants to move up the effective date to June 15, arguing it should be in place ahead of the surge in registration that will precede the November presidential election.