The Latest: Ruling upends Kansas primary preparations

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Posted: Jul 29, 2016 7:04 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on a judge's ruling on Kansas' two-tiered voting system (all times local):

6:00 p.m.

A Kansas judge's ruling on the state's proof-of-citizenship requirement is causing confusion among some election officials just four days before the state's primary election.

Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks ruled Friday the state must count potentially thousands of votes in state and local races in Tuesday's primary from people who registered without providing documentation of their U.S. citizenship.

Saline County Clerk Don Merriman says he is glad for the ruling, but it is too bad it came this late in the election cycle.

His county has already printed their election poll books, and those people are not in it.

But Douglas County Clerk Jameson Shew says he has had plans and systems in place anticipating every scenario and will implement the one that fits the ruling.

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5:35 p.m.

An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union says a Kansas judge's ruling on its proof-of-citizenship requirement has national implications.

Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks ruled Friday that the state must count potentially thousands of votes in state and local races in Tuesday's primary from people who registered to vote without providing documentation of their U.S. citizenship.

Hendricks blocked a rule that would have applied to about 17,600 people who registered at motor vehicle offices without presenting citizenship papers. The rule directed election officials to count only their votes for federal races.

ACLU attorney Sophia Lakin said the Kansas ruling "sets a very important tone going forward."

The Kansas decision came the same day as a federal appeals court decision blocked a tough North Caroline voter ID law.

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4:35 p.m.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he will not appeal a county judge's ruling that the Kansas must count the votes in state and local races of people who have registered without citizenship documents.

Kobach says that as a practical matter it is too late to appeal before the state's primary election next Tuesday.

But he says the ruling by Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks, "essentially knocks a huge loophole in that (citizenship requirement) law."

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4:30 p.m. A county judge has ruled that Kansas must count potentially thousands of votes in state and local races from people who've registered without providing citizenship documents.

Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks issued a temporary order Friday to block a rule from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The order came four days before Tuesday's primary election.

The rule applies to people registering to vote at state motor vehicle offices without documenting their U.S. citizenship as required by a 2013 state law.

A federal judge ruled in May that federal law allowed them to vote in federal races, but Kobach's rule said their votes in state and local contests would not be counted.

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2 p.m.

A Kansas judge will consider whether to allow election officials to toss out potentially thousands of votes in state and local races from people who've registered without meeting a requirement to document their U.S. citizenship.

Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks was having a hearing Friday on a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to block an administrative rule from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The hearing comes only four days before Tuesday's primary election.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of three prospective voters earlier this month, a week after a state board allowed Kobach to impose the rule temporarily — through the November election — without a public hearing. It applies to people who register to vote at state motor vehicle offices without providing proof of their U.S. citizenship as required by a 2013 state law.

The affected voters are to receive provisional ballots to be reviewed later, and county election officials are directed to count only their votes for federal offices, not state and local ones. Ahead of the primary, about 17,600 people registered at motor vehicle offices without providing citizenship papers, and the rule could apply to 50,000 people in November.

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