A Kansas House committee has agreed to Secretary of State Kris Kobach's proposal to start requiring proof of citizenship from potential voters earlier than originally scheduled.
The Elections Committee agreed to introduce a bill that would impose the proof-of-citizenship requirement for people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas beginning June 15. The state's current rule is set to take effect next year.
Kobach has said he wants to have the requirement in place in time for a surge of voter registrations before this year's presidential election.
He says the move will combat election fraud but critics maintain such a rule will suppress turnout.
The committee's action came on a voice vote. It's routine for committees to sponsor bills for executive branch officials and agencies.
President of the Kansas League of Women Voters Erminstine Krehbiel says the law is a solution in need of a problem. She says there have only been two documented cases of voter fraud in Kansas history.
Krehbiel says the law will likely kill voter registration efforts conducted by organizations like hers because people would be hesitant to allow volunteers at a mall or fair to photocophy someone's drivers license or birth certificate to prove citizenship.
*Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.