Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Kansans who went to the polls Tuesday ran into an unexpected problem when they provided required photo identification. The foul-up — involving a new driver’s license called Real ID — did not appear to affect anyone’s right to vote. But it was an inconvenience for voters and poll workers, and it suggests Kansas needs to pay closer attention to the basic tools for casting ballots. The snafu may also feed doubts about the state’s voter ID requirements, Real ID, safety and the right to vote. Kansas began issuing Real ID driver’s licenses in August. They’re part of a national program designed to strengthen identification documents in the states. By the year 2020, you’ll need a Real ID-compliant license to fly on an airline. Real ID driver’s licenses include a white star in the corner and two pictures of the license holder. On the back, there are bar codes that provide information about the holder.
Instead, election workers using electronic poll books had to manually search for voter data. The process added a minute or so to casting a ballot.
It turns out the Real ID bar codes had changed, but no one from the state told local election workers about it.