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Civil Rights Commission Committee To Hold Hearing On Kansas Voter ID Law

U.S. Civil Rights Commission

The Kansas voter ID law will be the subject of  a U.S. Civil Rights Commission committee hearing next month.

The Kansas voter ID law is one of most restrictive in the country.

Pushed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, it demands voters not only have photo ID but they prove they are American citizens.

The Kansas Advisory Committee to the Civil Rights Commission has discussed for about a year whether the law has suppressed voter turnout in minority communities.

Now a hearing has been set for 9:00 a.m. , January 28, at the Topeka Public Library.

The committee will hear testimony from community members, academics, government officials and voting officials. Members of the public will also be invited to speak during an open forum session beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Last year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report saying the voter ID law was responsible for a larger dip in Kansas voter turnout between 2008 and 2012 than in other states.

When the report was released last October, Kobach criticized its methodology, saying there was no statewide office up for grabs in Kansas in 2012 so turnout would naturally be down.

The committee says it will invite the secretary of state to testify. Kobach said on an episode of KCUR’s Statehouse Blend that he would accept the invitation.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR. He's also co-host of KCUR's political podcast Statehouse Blend. Follow him on Twitter @samzeff.