7/27/12: Good news – H Sub SB 17 died in committee on June 1. With the legislature having adjourned, the bill will not return in 2012.
5/08/12: Representative Scott Schwab, an ALEC member who chairs the Committee on Elections, brought H Sub SB 17 to the House floor. It passed by a 67-53 vote on May 8, and now goes to the Senate, which supports delayed enactment. Representative Ann Mah, a voting rights supporter: “Putting this before them and asking them to vote on it gives them one more chance to be the hero and act like the adults in the room.” Regardless of the date, the law could be vulnerable following the ruling against proof of citizenship in Arizona. Click here for more from the Topeka Capital-Journal.
In 2011, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback sign into law HB 2067. Sponsored by Representative Lance Kinzer (an ALEC member), this law contained requirements for ID when voting and proof of citizenship when registering. While the effective date for ID was set at January 1, 2012, it was delayed a year and set at January 1, 2013 for citizenship.
Last month, the Kansas House passed HB 2437 to move the citizenship effective date up to June 15, 2012. Last week, the Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections decided not to vote on it.
Kobach and his supporters used a backdoor maneuver known as “gut and go” to bring HB 2437 back to life. Essentially they stripped the contents of SB 17 and inserted HB 2437. Now known as H Sub SB 17, it is has a new life and a viable path to Governor Brownback’s desk.
For more information, check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.