May 21, 2015

Mariah Suddarth Communication Coordinator 816-994-3316 [email protected]

ACLU opposes bill giving unprecedented prosecutorial power to Secretary of State Kris Kobach

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS - The Kansas House of Representatives gave Senate Bill 34 (SB 34) initial approval this morning with a 63-57 vote. Final approval of this bill would give Secretary of State Kris Kobach the power to prosecute voting crime in Kansas – a move that is strongly opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas (ACLU-KS).

“This is a clear overstep of authority for the Secretary of State that creates unnecessary barriers for Kansan voters,” said Micah Kubic, Executive Director of ACLU-KS.

SB 34 would upgrade several voting crimes from misdemeanors to felonies while giving Kobach the authority to prosecute individuals for voting crime – a power that no other Secretary of State in the nation has ever been given.

“Voting-related crimes are very rare,” Kubic said. “If they do occur, they should be taken seriously and managed by those with the most capability to do so – our county and state attorneys.”

SB 34 will now travel to the Governor Brownback’s desk where it will either be signed in approval or vetoed.