- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Black Leadership Council is asking the state to allow people to register to vote on Election Day.

The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/1Yu0QSN ) reports the proposal was included in the council’s 2016 legislative agenda and is a response to the state’s requirement that people provide proof of citizenship, like a birth certificate or a passport, in order to register to vote.

State law requires voters to register at least 21 days before the election so local election officials can process applications and check for proof of citizenship.

Bonita Gooch, the council’s president, said in a statement that allowing people to register to vote on Election Day would eliminate an extra step for those who don’t have the proper documentation when trying to register before the election, and address concerns about voter fraud. Voter fraud concerns prompted the citizenship requirement.

“It’s that second step, going back and turning in your proof of citizenship, that hangs people up,” Gooch said.

She said that the proposal would also give the state an opportunity to address concerns that the citizenship requirement has made it more difficult for people to vote.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he strongly opposes same-day registration and that it leaves the door open for voter fraud.

“Because our polling places are not connected electronically, it makes it possible for a person to show up at polling place No. 1, register and cast a vote, then show up at polling place No. 2, register and cast a vote, and then show up at polling place No. 3, register and cast a vote. And there is no way to retrieve those duplicate votes once they are cast.”

Bills to create Election Day registration are expected to be introduced in both the Kansas House and Senate during the next session. A hearing regarding a challenge to the proof-of-citizenship requirement is scheduled for Dec. 4 in Kansas City, Kansas.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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