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.


kuguardgrl13 5 years, 7 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:

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 7 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.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

I give Democrats more credit than you apparently do.

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 7 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---

Linda and Bill Houghton 5 years, 7 months ago

That may be fine for people who sign up after such is put in place but it doesn't take care of the ones already on Social Security.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 7 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 ...

Ira Rott 5 years, 7 months ago

What you are thinking of is the requirement to provide proof of citizenship prior to registering to vote, that does not begin until Jan 2013.

HowardStern 5 years, 6 months ago

i am a new resident to the state and county. i was required to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote last month at the same time i procured a state driver's license - US passport sufficed as required documentations for both transactions, i.e. proof of citizenship required to vote, as well as signing an affidavit that i am, in fact, an Amerikan citizen

Orwell 5 years, 7 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.

Bobo Fleming 5 years, 7 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?

Bike_lover 5 years, 7 months ago

An expired ID won't pass muster. Although you may have had a valid photo ID when you applied for Social Security, 20 years later you may not be driving anymore and have let your ID expire. If you are living with your children or in a senior community making the trip to the DMV might be a lot of effort.

Whether someone who can't keep their identification current should be voting is an entirely different question. The law doesn't require a competency test, just proof of identity.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

Expired ID's of various kinds are acceptable for folks over 65, under this law.

That includes DL's, passports, government id's, military id's, etc.

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