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Kansas


Kansas Governor Sebelius Vetoes Voter ID Bill PDF  | Print |  Email
Kansas
By Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius   
May 19, 2008
Governor’s Veto Message for HB 2019

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius issued the following statement on her veto of Kansas HB 2019

We have a rich history and tradition in Kansas of working to increase citizen participation in our democracy. Voting has become easier and more convenient in our state over the past decade due to measures like advance voting.

Here in Kansas and across the country, we have seen a record number of new voters active in the election process. Secretaries of State across the country are anticipating record-breaking turnout in November. We must take advantage of this opportunity to engage the next generation of leaders and decision makers in the political process, and ensure their participation continues throughout their lifetimes.

Additionally, no elected official should support enacting new laws discouraging or disenfranchising any American who has been legally voting for years. I cannot support creating any roadblock to prevent our citizens from adding their voices to the democratic discourse that makes our nation great.

The Secretary of State’s office is charged with the oversight of elections in Kansas and our hard working county clerks and election officials deserve thanks for ensuring the integrity of the democratic process. I have the utmost confidence in their diligence to guarantee secure and fair elections across our state. HB 2019 seeks to solve a problem of voter fraud which does not exist in our state due to the tireless efforts of our local election officials.
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Kansas Senate Passes Controversial Voter ID Bill PDF  | Print |  Email
Kansas
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
February 22, 2007

Governor Sebelius Voices Criticism 

 

The Kansas State Senate has passed SB 169, a bill that would require voters to present a valid photo ID in order exercize their right to vote. The bill would further require that Kansans prove American citizenship when registering by showing either a birth certificate or U.S. passport. The Wichita Eagle noted that copies of birth certificates cost $12 and passports, $97.

Similar restrictive identification legislation in Arizona, Georgia, Missouri and other states have been successfully challenged in court. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who vetoed a similar bill in 2003, was critical of the bill, A Kansas City Star article reported her comments:

I am alarmed as a public official at the limited number of people who participate in our democracy,” she said. “… I’m very cautious about solving a problem we don’t have and killing the interest of Kansans in voting.”

There is no evidence that voter fraud is a problem in Kansas, Sebelius said, and the bill would only succeed in keeping people away from the polls.
In the Witchita Eagle article Sibelius was quoted, "I guess my big worry is that we have too few people voting as it is, too few people participating," she said. "I really hate to see anything that makes it more difficult for citizens to participate." She added: "I haven't seen any evidence in Kansas of voter fraud, and I don't like to see barriers put up to people who should be participating in a democracy."
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Kansas: Reduction In Number Of Polling Places A Polical Issue In Secretary Of State Race PDF  | Print |  Email
Kansas
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
July 24, 2006

Future of Electronic Voting In Kansas Also An Issue 

 

As the August 1st primary nears, the dwindling number of polling places in Kansas elections has become a bipartisan political issue in the race for Secretary of State. Since 2000, Kansas has gone from over 2,400 polling sites to under 2000. Ron Thornburgh (pictured at right), who currently holds the office, has defended the trend over the past eight years toward the consolidation of polling places. In an article in the Hutchison News, he noted that the reduction in polling sites coincides with easier access afforded by early voting and easier absentee voting.

Thornburgh explained that, "Counties have had trouble finding poll workers," he said. "It's part of the natural squeeze as fewer people are willing or available to work at the polls on election days." He noted that the number of polling spots had remained stable for about a decade before the recent shrinkage. "This is a natural realignment taking place. We had one county with 70 polling places. We told them they really only needed about 32. They then decided to reduce to about 25." He has also said that the reduction in polling stations, he said, comes as counties come into compliance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) and the difficulty of finding enough pollworkers.

A bipartisan coalition of seventeen political, religious and ethnic groups in Sedgewick County recently called for more polling places and Thornburgh’s Republican primary opponent and the two Democrats vying for the opportunity to challenge him in the general election have made the reduction in polling places a campaign issue.

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Kansas: Paper Trail Protects Our Votes PDF  | Print |  Email
Kansas
By Dane Zeller, Wentworth Military Academy   
January 13, 2006
“The argument for a verifiable paper audit trail, no matter the additional cost, is this: We verify every transaction we make in our day-to-day lives.”

This article appeared in the As I See It section of the Kansas City Star on January 12, 2006. It is reposted with permission of the author.

In Finn Bullers’ “Casting Vote on Voting Systems” (12/25), a former Johnson County election commissioner, Connie Schmidt, defends the use of touch-screen voting machines that do not produce a verifiable paper audit trail.

Her argument cites the adding machine that once had paper, but now has none, and her faith in Microsoft Excel to “do our budgets … I doubt that anyone hand-adds it all up.”

Upon closer inspection, these analogies fail her cause. Imagine the IRS investigation of your tax return being thwarted by your not using a paper tape in your adding machine or being satisfied by that electronic spreadsheet that no one has hand-added up. Not likely.
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