One of the strictest voter ID laws in the country will be under the microscope when the Kansas Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission holds hearings to determine whether the law has suppressed voter turnout in some communities. The Civil Rights Commission has advisory committees in all 50 states and the Kansas committee voted Tuesday to move forward with its investigation. “Some of the initial information with the respect to the law is that it disproportionately impacts certain age groups and certain racial categorizations,” says Elizabeth Kronk who chairs the Kansas committee. Kronk is a law professor at the University of Kansas.
Last year the General Accounting Office released a report saying the voter ID law was responsible for a larger dip in Kansas voter turnout between 2008 and 2012, when compared to other states.
The GAO had the same result for a tougher voter ID law in Tennessee. “GAO’s analysis suggests that the turnout decreases in Kansas and Tennessee beyond decreases in the comparison states were attributable to changes in those two states’ voter ID requirements,” the report said.