Archive for Tuesday, April 6, 2004

New law requires ID from some voters

April 6, 2004

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— Some Kansas voters will have to show a driver's license or other form of identification to ensure their ballots are counted under a bill Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed into law Monday.

The new law, which takes effect July 1, will apply to Kansans who are voting for the first time in a county. They must show identification when they register, go to a polling place to vote or seek an advance ballot. If they refuse, they still may cast a provisional ballot, but election officials could declare it invalid later.

The legislation is aimed at bringing Kansas into compliance with the federal "Help America Vote Act of 2002," which promised states $3.9 billion to replace outdated voting machines, train election workers, educate voters and make polling places accessible. Kansas will receive $26.2 million.

Sebelius also had made her signing the voter ID bill conditional upon the Legislature approving another measure intended to make polling places accessible to people with disabilities. Lawmakers did so Friday.

Kansas already has received $5 million in federal funds. However, the remaining $21.2 million could have been jeopardized had a voter identification bill not passed or had Sebelius not signed one.

Under the bill, an affected voter can show a driver's license or a nondriver's identification card, or provide the last four digits of his or her Social Security number. Acceptable forms of ID also include a utility bill, bank statement, pay stub, government check or other government document, if they show a voter's name and address.

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