Archive for Monday, July 23, 2012

ID attention

Kansas election officials should give special attention to helping voters obtain the identification they will need at the polls this year.

July 23, 2012


While many Kansans believe it is reasonable to require voters to show photo identification at the polls, special circumstances may make it difficult for some Kansans to obtain the necessary IDs. At least for the first elections that require photo ID, state and county election officials should make an extra effort to inform voters and make the process easier.

Nursing homes, for instance, have expressed concern that many of their residents may not have appropriate IDs even though they are registered to vote. Some no longer drive, so they don’t have a driver’s license, and they may not have taken the trouble to obtain a nondriver’s identification card.

It may require a little extra effort, but obtaining an ID won’t be that difficult for most voters. However, for some, the process may pose obstacles that are hard to clear. Registered Kansas voters can request a free photo ID, but they still must go to a driver’s license station to obtain the ID. If they don’t drive, getting to the station and enduring the long waits currently being reported at many Kansas Division of Motor Vehicle offices might be a problem.

To obtain an ID, people must present other forms of identification. That may be fairly easy for someone born in Kansas, but it gets more complicated if you were born in another state. Kansans can obtain a free copy of their birth certificates to facilitate the ID process, but people born elsewhere would need to contact their native state and probably pay a fee to obtain a birth certificate. If women have changed their names as a result of marriage or divorce, they also would have to document that change with a marriage certificate or divorce decree.

None of these obstacles is insurmountable, but it takes time and effort.

The Kansas Secretary of State’s office and county election officials are trying to deal with various voter concerns, including those expressed by nursing home officials. Hopefully, their efforts will be successful. The Aug. 7 primary will be the first statewide election at which photo IDs will be required. Although participation in primary elections usually is low, this primary involves more than the usual number of contested races, and it should offer at least some indication of how big an issue or problem the new voter ID law will pose for voters and election officials.


senegal66025 1 year, 8 months ago

Any one getting Social Security had to have ID to get it. I needed a birth certificate and photo ID to get mine. So how is it that all of these "seniors" are going find it so hard to comply with the voter ID law?


Orwell 1 year, 8 months ago

Why should they make additional effort to be sure people can vote? That would undercut the whole purpose of the new law.

Seriously, when you go to the polls think about which party encourages democracy and which party thinks the public just can't be trusted.


Hooligan_016 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm confused, did I miss the vote where they went ahead and moved up the timeframe in implementing the Voter ID law?

I know it wasn't supposed to start until next year, but Kobach had been harping on the state legislature to implement it immediately. Thought the legislature just didn't vote on the measure ...


FlintlockRifle 1 year, 8 months ago

If most people are worried about the older voters without proper photo I.D, maybe they should issue the proper photo I.D card when you sign up for social security, end of problem---


Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 8 months ago

Why bother? It is clear as a bell to anyone that this is a vendetta by the republican governer and republican secretary of state to prevent Democrats from voting in elections in Kansas.

End of story.


Les Blevins 1 year, 8 months ago

Kansas election officials should not, I repeat should not, give special attention to helping voters obtain the identification they supposedly would need at the polls this year. Kansas election officials should post a notice at the polling places that all voters must be legal residents to cast ballots and allow voters to vote after their names have been verified at the polling places just as has always been the case. The last time the polls were taken over by those wanting to engineer elections was in 1854 when Kansas was invaded by Missouri residents bent on swaying the election to pro-slavery candidates. Today the polls are again being invaded but this time the goal is to sway the outcome to conservative candidates and if this is allowed it will be a throwback to the 1850s and an attempt to rekindle a civil war.


kuguardgrl13 1 year, 8 months ago

The Douglas County Elections Office has provided this PDF online with all of the accepted forms of ID and all of the circumstances that allow for no ID:


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