Douglas County election officials are reaching out to more than 600 would-be voters whose registrations are being held “in suspense” because they have not yet provided necessary documents to prove they are U.S. citizens. County Clerk Jamie Shew said Thursday that those voters have until Aug. 4 to provide those documents if they want to vote in the Aug. 5 primary elections for federal, state and local offices. But a small number of them – four, to be exact – may be eligible to vote in the federal primaries for U.S. House and Senate, although they will not be able to vote in state and local races. “There has been some confusion about that,” Shew said Thursday. “Some people think they can show their proof of citizenship at the polls. But they have to file it with us before Election Day to be eligible.”
The problem with those registrations stems from a 2011 law enacted by the Kansas Legislature called the Safe and Fair Election Act, or SAFE, which was championed by Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Under that law, starting in 2012, voters had to show a valid photo ID at the polls in order to vote. And starting in 2013, people registering for the first time in their county have had to show proof of citizenship in order to register.
Documents that can be used to prove citizenship include birth certificates, U.S. passports, naturalization documents, Native American tribal IDs or a driver’s license from a state that requires proof of citizenship to obtain the license, among others. A full list of qualifying documents is available on the Secretary of State’s website, www.kssos.org.