Voter ID, Redistricting Face First Election Hurdle

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Tuesday’s election is the first major test for the state's new voter identification law.

The secure and fair elections act or "safe" act requires voters to bring a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, has said the law is intended to prevent voter fraud.

Volunteers told KAKE News a few people had to be turned away because of the new procedure. However, some voters who forgot their ID were offered provisional ballots, instead.

“The idea that even a few people, from what we have observed, have gone home and not come to vote, serves as more of a threat to our democracy than the alleged threat of voter fraud,” said Louis Goseland, KanVote coordinator.

Felicia Adams, Wichita voter, said she forgot her ID and had to run home to get it. She said she believes most people would not have done the same.

“A lot of people like the elderly, a lot of them don't have IDs,” Adams said. “A lot of them are going to be sitting here saying ‘I’m not going to vote because it's a hassle.’”

But others disagreed it would lead to low voter turnout.

“I don't think any honest citizen is going to have an issue with this, otherwise you have other issues,” said Jeff Cowell, Wichita voter.

Other people had to leave due to the state’s new redistricting rules. Coordinators told KAKE News there has been confusion over where voters should go to cast their ballots.

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