October 5, 2017

NEW YORK — A federal court today released documents relating to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s draft amendments to the federal National Voter Registration Act (or the “motor-voter law”), including a document that he brought to a meeting with President-elect Trump in November 2016. The American Civil Liberties Union sought the documents as part of its ongoing federal lawsuit involving voter registration obstacles in Kansas.

Last year, the ACLU successfully sued Kobach under the federal motor-voter law, preventing him from disenfranchising 17,000 people who had applied to register to vote at a DMV in Kansas. Kobach tried to stop them from registering to vote, demanding that they show a birth certificate or passport to prove that they are U.S. citizens. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in a unanimous opinion, held that Kobach was prohibited from imposing this “mass denial of a fundamental right” under the motor-voter law.

In November, Kobach was photographed carrying documents labeled as a Department of Homeland Security strategic plan when he met with Trump. The papers referenced a plan to amend the motor-voter law, prompting the ACLU’s request for access to the documents. Kobach serves as co-chair of the Trump administration's so-called “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.” The ACLU has successfully sued Kobach numerous times over his voter suppression policies.

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, had this reaction to the documents released today:

"Kris Kobach is public enemy number one when it comes to voter suppression in the country, which is why courts have repeatedly ruled against him. The documents unveiled today show that he wants to dismantle the motor-voter law and replicate his voter suppression practices – which have disenfranchised thousands of Kansans – around the country."

The documents are at:
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/fish-v-kobach-exhibit-u

https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/fish-v-kobach-exhibit-ee

More information is at: https://www.aclu.org/other/aclu-response-trump-election-commission-executive-order

and

https://www.aclu.org/cases/fish-v-kobach

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