Judge to decide proof-of-citizenship voting rule

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – A federal judge says his decision in a lawsuit asking federal election officials to require proof-of-citizenship for voter registrations will be based on who gets to decide what is necessary to determine voter qualifications.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren is hearing arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by Kansas and Arizona seeking a court order to force the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to modify federal voter registration forms to require more documentation for residents of their states.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach told the court the issue is one of immense political importance that a federal agency should decide.

The Justice Department argued that Congress established the federal form and gave the agency discretionary authority. The department argues the states have other ways to check applicants’ citizenship status without requiring additional documentation.

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