‘Two-Tier’ Voting Looks to Further Disenfranchise Citizens

Officials in Arizona and Kansas are planning to implement a two-tier voting system as a way to comply with federal voting laws while keeping their strict state proof of citizenship laws in place.

Under the plan, people who register to vote and present proof of citizenship can vote in local, state and federal elections. Those who sign up without proof of citizenship would only be allowed to vote in federal elections, and must be sure to register with a federal form.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) said the system would be used if Kansas and Arizona lose their suit over a Supreme Court ruling that said states couldn’t require proof of citizenship on federal voter registration forms. 

The plan has come under fire in both states.

“It would be a huge mess,” former Kansas State Rep. Ann Mah (D-Topeka) told the Huffington Post. “I don’t even know how the counties would go about tracking all this and making sure they did it right. The amount of provisional ballots would skyrocket. It would be a huge mess.”

Arizona State House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D-Phoenix) said he expects the plan to be challenged in court.

“This is obviously a very transparent attempt at voter suppression by the attorney general and the Secretary of State,” said Campbell. “To create a dual system on how to register to vote is insane and possibly illegal.”

The new system is slated to be implemented in 2014.