Bryan Lowry for the Wichita Eagle:
A Shawnee County judge will decide whether thousands can vote in state and local elections when Kansas holds its primaries next week.
Judge Larry Hendricks will review Friday whether Secretary of State Kris Kobach has the authority to set up a dual voting system.
A state board approved a new rule earlier this month to allow people who registered at DMV offices to vote in federal elections even if they failed to provide proof of citizenship as required by Kansas law. The rule is meant to put the state in compliance with a recent ruling by a federal judge to let these voters vote under the federal “motor-voter” law.
The rule, crafted by Kobach’s office, still bars more than 17,000 motor-voters from participating in state and local elections without providing proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which prevailed against Kobach in federal court earlier this year, is challenging the new rule in state court in an attempt to enable these voters to vote on all races when the state holds its primary elections Aug. 2.