Since Jan. 1, 2012, Kansas voters have been required to show photo identification and proof of citizenship in order to vote in the state of Kansas, according to the Kansas Voter ID website.
Voter ID laws have been controversial not only in Kansas, but the rest of the U.S. A lot of the controversy surrounding voter ID laws are easily refuted, and it is easy for voters in Kansas to comply with the law if they currently do not. Voter ID laws help ensure confidence in the election system and help deter fraud.
After Kansas passed its voter ID law, it is still easy for Kansans to register to vote. As part of the Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act, Kansans are able to obtain the required government documentation to vote for free. Kansans can receive a free, nondriver identification card and Kansas birth certificate as part of the program after mailing in three short forms. These documents are also required for many other interactions with the government, including the issuance of marriage licenses and the purchase firearms, regardless of the state you live in.
The SAFE Act does not represent a significant burden that will prevent people from voting unless they do not want to fill out the necessary documentation. Registered voter turnout in the Kansas 2017 local elections has also increased from the previous local election cycle.
The world has changed a lot since the United States had its first elections. People are able to move and migrate between countries much faster than ever before. In a country that is currently doubting the security of its election process, it is necessary to take every step possible to restore confidence in the system.
In an article for The Heritage Foundation, Hans von Spakovksy, manager of Election Law Reform Initiative, says “Voter ID laws can prevent and deter: Impersonation fraud at the polls; Voting under fictitious voter registrations; Double voting by individuals registered in more than one state or locality; and Voting by illegal aliens, or even legal aliens who are still not entitled to vote since state and federal elections are restricted to U.S. citizens.”
Von Spakovksy was also a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice.
It is necessary to prevent voter fraud from occurring, no matter how often it occurs.
The benefits of voter ID laws outweigh the costs associated with it. Although the Kansas law may deter some individuals from voting because of the additional requirements, it is important to take every step possible to reassure the American people of the integrity of the American election system.
Wyatt Hendrickson is a junior from Olathe studying civil engineering.
—Edited by Jake Stephens