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Judge finds Kansas' Kris Kobach in contempt of court

19 April 2018

Robinson imposed sanctions on Kobach on Wednesday, saying he had to pay the ACLU for attorneys fees and that "any further remedial measures" would be decided when she ruled on the merits of the case. The injunction found that Kansas can not require voters to produce proof of USA citizenship, such as a birth certificate or US passport, when they register at licensing offices.

Last month, Robinson admonished Kobach for failing to fully comply with these court orders, which included adding voters to the rolls, making eligible voters cast provisional ballots, and sending voters a postcard to notify them of their registration status.

"The Secretary of State's Office will be appealing this decision". Prior to the November 2016 elections, Kobach had promised Robinson that he would send the postcards to let Kansans know they'd be allowed to participate. Robinson says Kobach, now the Kansas Secretary of State, refused to update language on his office's website which indicated that new voter applicants may not have that right after the November 2016 elections.

Mr. Kobach has championed restrictive laws on voting around the country, warning that voting fraud is rampant and unchecked, despite widespread agreement from election experts that it is extremely rare.

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"The Court is troubled by (Kobach's) failure to take responsibility for violating this Court's orders, and for failing to ensure compliance over an issue that he explicitly represented to the court had been accomplished", Robinson wrote.

In her Wednesday judgment, Robinson claimed Republicans influenced by the ongoing court instance the same in light of her purchase, as the Republicans had not been treated by Kobach. In a contentious hearing, Kobach said his office had orally instructed county clerks to send out the postcards, but could not force them to do anything. Robinson said that effort was "too little, too late" to avoid the contempt citation.

The organization also wanted Kobach to correct erroneous and misleading information in the state's official election manual to make clear that, for now, those voters are exempt from the state's proof-of-citizenship requirements. The court fined Kobach $1,000 and ordered him to testify about the documents. Kobach had argued that he need not change the manual until the Supreme Court had a chance to weigh in on the case, and that he communicated with election officials via email the changes in policy due to her 2016 order.

Judge finds Kansas' Kris Kobach in contempt of court