TOPEKA — Secretary of State Kris Kobach says Kansans should have to prove they’re U.S. citizens when registering to vote and show a photo ID before casting a ballot.
Kobach, a Republican, said the changes would protect the integrity of the electoral system and prevent fraud. The requirements would give Kansas some of the strictest voting requirements in the nation.
“My hope is that Kansas will be to stopping election fraud what Arizona is to stopping illegal immigration,” said Kobach, who made voter fraud a cornerstone of his fall campaign.
Under Kobach’s proposal, Kansans would have to show a passport, birth certificate or other proof of citizenship when registering to vote. They then would have to show a government photo ID — driver’s license, passport or state university ID — at the polls.
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Voters casting advance or mail-in ballots would have to include their driver’s license number, or a photocopy of their ID.
Low-income Kansans without suitable identification could get a free state ID under Kobach’s proposal. Seniors could use expired IDs.
The measure is probably a legislative slam dunk. Previous proposals ran into opposition from former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat. The state’s new governor, Republican Sam Brownback, supports the measure.
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