Kansas Voter ID . The sage words of President Johnson were spoken after he signed the Voter Rights Act of 1965. This landmark piece of legislation outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States. It guaranteed all Americans the right to vote without the restrictive barriers of the past. I believe that voter ID laws disenfranchise voter groups and suppress overall voter participation. As the Kansas Secretary of State, I will work within the framework of the law and ensure that no Kansan is ever denied their right to vote.
Voter Fraud. Voter fraud is a serious but extremely rare crime. A 2012 research report from the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice showed voter fraud occurs in merely one out of every 15 million prospective voters. In the November 2012 election, over a million Kansans went to the polls and cast 18 million votes for over 500 candidates statewide. At a fraud rate of 0.00002 percent and using National Weather Service data, a candidate has a better chance of being struck and killed by lighting on Election Day than lose his or her election by voter fraud. Any allegations of voter fraud will be investigated by my office, and should evidence warrant, these cases will be directed to the county prosecutor.
It's a Fulltime Job - Our current Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, claims to assist both state and local governments in an effort to write legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration, but only during his “spare time”. In February 2012, the voter-registration group Kansans Count filed an open records request for Mr. Kobach’s calendar. It appears that he has ample spare time in his agenda, at the state’s expense. Records acquired through a Kansas Open Records Request denoted six unaccounted weeks in Mr. Kobach’s work schedule in 2011. Research conducted by the group KanVote also provided evidence that Mr. Kobach traveled out-of-state six times between the August primary and November 2012 election, primarily on immigration-related business. Possibly it is advantageous for Kansas taxpayers to allow this attorney the free time necessary for him to devote to his “spare time job”. When elected in 2014, I promise Kansans that I will dedicate myself to be a Full Time 24/7 Secretary of State.
Increasing Voter Turnout.
Youth Vote- I propose to allow 16 and 17 year-olds to pre-registration to vote with the qualification that they not vote until the year they turn 18. A 17 year-old may register to vote given their 18th birthday occurs prior to the general election. Currently in Kansas, 17 year-olds may also participate in the Democratic Presidential Caucus though barred from participation in the Republican Caucus. In states where pre-registration has been implemented there has been a substantial increase in the normally low 18-24 year-old voter participation.
One-Stop Voting- The process is sometimes referred to as “In-Person Registration”. Here’s how it works: The current deadline to register to vote in Kansas is 21 days prior to Election Day. My proposal would allow a voter to register and vote during the state's early voting period despite missing this deadline. A Kansas resident who is qualified to register to vote may register in person and vote at a One-Stop site at the county election office in the person's county of residence. The One-Stop Voting period would be 20 to 3 days preceding Election Day. Voter registration would not be permitted on Election Day. The states that currently allow some form of in-person registration have the highest voter participation rates in the nation.