Over the past month, the courts have systematically begun to dismantle voter suppression laws in 4 states. Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Kansas have all seen various laws designed to ‘protect the ballot box’ struck down as merely attempts to suppress the vote.
And this action can’t be blamed on ‘liberal activist judges,’ considering that most of the rulings have come from some of the most conservative courts in the nation — including the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
But it’s also getting worse for one of the chief architects of these laws, with a direct democracy twist happening in Kansas.
Kansas is one of 6 states that allows for the calling of a grand jury by citizen petition — and a remarkably small number of valid signatures are needed, only 2 percent of the total ballots cast in the most recent gubernatorial election in the filed county, plus 100 (in this case, only 860 signatures were required).
On Wednesday, county officials stated that the petition drive started by Steven X. Davis had enough signatures to begin proceedings to open a grand jury investigation into Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s actions as the state’s chief elections administrator.
Davis believes that a grand jury was the only way to get credible evidence as to why so many online registrations are ‘lost’ or ‘invalidated.’
Davis claims that the Kansas Democratic Party had warned him not to use the online system when launching his voter registration drive during his run for Kansas Legislature — and he wants to know why.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported:
Cheyenne Davis, the [Democratic] party’s field and political director, said the party has had “dozens” of complaints from people who used the online system and later discovered their names weren’t added to voter rolls or to a list of incomplete applications. She said the online system may be faulty, but she doesn’t believe there was criminal intent.
Similarly, while the ACLU is actively suing Kobach, who is currently engaged in four separate lawsuits over his different schemes and failure to comply with lower court rulings, the group stated that they didn’t perceive any criminal intent — just overzealous enforcement of a bad law.
Either way, the grand jury will have the authority to investigate the anomalies that keep happening in Kansas, as well as why lower court rulings have been evaded or ignored.
But one thing is certain, the summer of 2016 has become nothing but headaches for those trying to implement voting restrictions.