Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the vice chair of President Trump's voter fraud commission, indicated to the Trump transition team last year he was readying a proposal to change federal law to allow the implementation of a proof-of-citizenship requirement during the voter registration process.
In an email released as part of the ACLU's ongoing lawsuit against Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state told Trump transition team member Gene Hamilton he had started drafting legislation to amend the National Voter Registration Act.
"Cindy mentioned that we will also be putting together information on legislation drafts for submission to Congress early in the administration. I have some already started regarding amendments to the NVRA to make clear that proof of citizenship requirements are permitted (based on my ongoing litigation with the ACLU over this)," Kobach wrote in his email, dated Nov. 10, to Hamilton.
The email was released Friday, and it was first published by the Huffington Post.
The 1993 National Voting Rights Act, known as the "motor voter law," requires states to provide voter registration opportunities at motor vehicle agencies, specific state and local offices, including public assistance and disability offices, and by mail-in application.
In 2011, Kansas passed a law requiring first-time voters to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote, but the law has landed Kobach in court.
The ACLU sued Kobach and argued the law violated the NVRA. Federal courts blocked the state law last year, and in October, Kansas was forced to register more than 20,000 voters after a ruling from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Some suspected Kobach wanted to amend the NVRA after he was photographed last year holding a document that listed possible changes to the 1993 law.
After a Nov. 20 meeting with Trump, an Associated Press photographer captured a view of the document that included the words "Draft Amendments to the National Voter …" The rest of the document was hidden by Kobach's arm.
A federal judge said in April that Kobach had to turn over a copy of the proposal from the photo.
Kobach is serving as the vice chairman of Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which seeks to identify vulnerabilities in voting systems that could lead to voter fraud.
His participation in the committee sparked criticism, since Kobach is a leading advocate of strict voter ID laws.
The voter fraud commission will convene for its first meeting Wednesday.