UPDATE: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The first election in Kansas under a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification appears to have gone smoothly.
But officials debated Wednesday whether the election in the small southwestern Kansas town of Cimarron was a valid test.
Cimarron voters overwhelmingly approved a 1.25 percent sales tax to finance a new municipal swimming pool. About 460 residents voted, with another 18 casting provisional ballots.
But only one of those provisional ballots involved someone without a valid photo ID. Gray County Clerk Bonnie Swartz says that person was protesting the new law.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who pushed for the law, says the election shows it won't be a problem. But some legislators said the law would get a better test in more populated areas.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Cimarron voters are the first to put a new law to the test that requires them to provide a valid identification before voting.
The Kansas Legislature passed the measure last session with hopes of preventing voter fraud. Secretary of State Kris Kobach said his office has discovered at least 260 cases of voter fraud in Kansas since 1997.
"We have really taken some strong steps," Kobach said. "Kansas now has the strongest laws of any state in the nation to protect security of our elections."
Cimarron election officials say no one complained and everyone had a valid id when they came to vote.
Voters were deciding on a one-and-a-quarter percent sales tax increase that would pay for a new swimming pool.