She’s voted in every election for nearly 70 years, until this year. “As far as I knew I needed to re-register and I needed a Kansas driver’s license,” said Elizabeth Gray of Winfield. “That’s what I thought.” Gray says confusion over the state’s Voter ID Law and problems with the DMV not accepting her paperwork kept her at home during the August primaries. From those who simply don’t have a birth certificate because they were born before it was common to issue one to others who misunderstand what kind of identification they need to vote, some say there’s still confusion about Kansas’s Voter ID Law. “I’ve always voted,” said Gray. She’s lived all over the country but says she’s never had this much trouble making her voice heard at the polls. “And it really upset me,” she laughed. “I believe it’s our duty to vote. We can’t, we don’t have any right to complain if we don’t vote.”
The August primaries were the first election Gray has missed since she was eligible to vote. And it’s all because she was trying to comply with state law.
“I agree. We do need ID to vote. I’m all for it,” she said. “I have stacks of ID and they won’t take it. Now that’s ridiculous.”
Gray thought she needed a valid Kansas driver’s license to re-register to vote when she returned to Kansas after living with her son in Arkansas for five months.
“I took my marriage license and I took my social security card, my birth certificate,” she said. But she still doesn’t have a driver’s license. “I ran into big bumps at the DMV. They didn’t want my documents that I’ve used for 70 years.”