KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on trial challenging a law in Kansas that requires people to show documentation when registering to vote. (all times local):
After seven often contentious days, testimony has ended in a federal bench trial challenging a Kansas voter registration law.
During closing arguments Monday, Dale Ho, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that the thousands of noncitizens who Secretary of State Kris Kobach contends are stealing elections “are not real.” But he said the law has stopped thousands of U.S. citizens from voting. And he says there has been real damage to the electoral process in Kansas. He asked U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson to find that the law should not be imposed on Kansas.
In his closing, Kobach argued the law hasn’t prevented anyone but noncitizens from voting. He says people put on a list of suspended voters have several ways to provide the required documentation and register to vote. He urged Robinson to uphold the will of the Kansas Legislature, which enacted the law in 2013.
Robinson didn’t say when she would issue a ruling but said she is mindful that elections are approaching. Attorneys have until April 16 for any more legal filings in the case.
A pollster hired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has testified that he conducted a survey of 500 adults and found just one person who couldn’t produce a document proving U.S. citizenship.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported Monday his testimony came on the seventh day of a bench trial challenging the Kansas proof-of-citizenship requirement.
Pollster Pat McFerron also acknowledged possible bias in his survey under questioning by an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.
U.S. District judge Julie Robinson allowed McFerron to testify, even though he was not identified as an expert witness before the deadline that had been set by the judge.
McFerron is president of Cole Hargrave Snodgrass, a firm which primary caters to Republican candidates. He was paid $9,000 for his survey.