Kansas Attorney General demands Congress to not pass legislation aimed at restricting state voting authority

FILE - (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
FILE - (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)(Matt Slocum | AP)
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 3:52 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has demanded that current proposed legislation that he said aims restrict state voting authority must not pass.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he told Congressional leaders partisan election-reform legislation pending in Congress would illegally restrict the authority of the states to regulate elections and must not pass.

AG Schmidt said he joined 22 other state attorneys general in a letter to congressional leaders that opposes the measure, H.R. 4, which has already passed the House on a party-line vote and is pending in the Senate. He said the legislation would require all states to obtain “preclearance” from the federal government before election reforms such as voter identification requirements and voter list maintenance laws are enacted.

“This legislation is a misguided, clumsy, and heavy-handed effort to circumvent Supreme Court decisions, state sovereignty, and the will of the people,” the attorneys general wrote.

Schmidt said the legislation would essentially establish the U.S. Department of Justice as a national election head, telling states how to administer their elections.

“States that create laws based on what works best for their jurisdiction to respond to a crisis of confidence in our elections systems will inevitably be targeted by the Department of Justice leading to more confusion, litigation, and concerns over the validity of elections going forward,” the attorneys general added.

The attorneys general argue the proposed legislation ignores states’ legitimate interest in ensuring election integrity and voter confidence, ensuring legal votes are counted.

In March, Schmidt said he previously opposed related legislation, H.R. 1, which also wanted to remove control of elections from states and give it to the federal government.

To read a full copy of the letter sent to Congressional leaders, click HERE.

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