Kansas is ill-prepared to ensure poor, elderly, minority and transient Kansans have convenient access to documents and ID cards that will allow them to cast a ballot in elections this year, voter advocates said this morning. Louis Goseland, who represents the KanVote group fighting voter suppression, said he and others in Wichita have tested agencies to see if they’re prepared for voter ID laws now in effect and that those agencies seem uninformed and unprepared to help would-be voters. “It’s just been one thing after another,” he told the House Elections Committee this morning.
Goseland’s assessment comes as part of the back-and-forth between advocacy groups and those who support Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proposal to move-up the effective date of a new law that will require people registering to vote in Kansas for the first time to prove their U.S. citizenship with one of 12 forms of identification, including a birth certificate.
Kobach has said that is the only way to prevent non-citizens from getting on Kansas voter rolls. Already, he has said, folks who are not U.S. citizens, such as people here on work visas, have been spotted on Kansas voter lists. … But critics say Kobach has overblown the prevalence of voter fraud, and they question whether his office’s planned $300,000 voter education campaign is enough to inform voters about the nuances of the law.