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Updated Dec 13, 2013 - 1:30 pm

Judge sends voter citizenship suit back

WICHITA, Kan. -- A federal judge has sent back to federal elections officials a request by Kansas and Arizona to force modifications in a national voter registration form so the states can fully enforce proof-of-citizenship requirements.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren on Friday sent the states' lawsuit back to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, with instructions that the commission has to have a final decision by Jan. 17.

The states want the federal form to include instructions requiring Kansas and Arizona residents to provide a birth certificate, passport or other proof of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote.

The Justice Department says such a change places an additional obstacle for eligible voters and would affect nationwide policy by setting a precedent.

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