Earlier this month, the ACLU of Kansas was contacted by a person who, while seeking to validate petition signatures at the Sedgwick County Election Office, was told that the signature of anyone who registered to vote using the federal form or at the DMV without providing proof of citizenship would not be counted.

Multiple courts have ruled that Kansas voters cannot be treated differently based on their method of registration, and that ruling applies to signing petitions as well as voting. Any eligible citizen who has registered to vote using one of the appropriate forms, regardless of whether they provided proof of citizenship at the time of registration, is legally qualified to vote in national, state, and local elections and sign or initiate a petition.

On June 20, Doug Bonney, Legal Director of the ACLU of Kansas, sent a letter to the Sedgwick County Election Office outlining these concerns. Tabitha Lehman, Election Commissioner, responded to our letter indicating that her office had been mistaken about the policy and confirming that Sedgwick County would, indeed, qualify the signatures of petitioners who registered to vote without showing proof of citizenship.

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