African-American leaders in Kansas want the state to allow people to register to vote on Election Day. The proposal included in the Kansas Black Leadership Council’s 2016 legislative agenda is a response to the state’s requirement that people provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, in order to register to vote. People who do not do so when they try to register at the DMV, for example, are placed in suspended status until they provide documention.
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia use same-day registration, according to Demos, a New York-based organization that promotes election reforms.
“It’s that second step, going back and turning in your proof of citizenship, that hangs people up,” said Bonita Gooch, the council’s president, in a statement. “However, on Election Day, motivated to vote, if they can get out their ID, proof of citizenship and show up at the poll, that extra step has been eliminated.”