This has always seemed like a rational and common sense step to me. We have to provide ID for everything. We get stopped by police officer for driving too fast..provide ID. Register kids for school…ID. Travel by plane…ID. Tax Refund…ID. Cash a check…ID. The list goes on and on and on. So, I’ve always been baffled and annoyed that for the very most sacrosanct action we do as Americans, voting for our candidates who end up affecting our lives and freedoms in dramatic ways, we aren’t required to provide proof that we are who we say that we are and that we are indeed actual citizens of this country.
Voters in Kansas will need to show a photo ID the next time they go to the polls.
In a signing ceremony last week, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill to protect the integrity of elections, he said: “We must be able to accurately and fairly discern the will of the people of Kansas.”
While Gov. Brownback said the new law establishes “reasonable steps” to protect the rights of citizens, the American Civil Liberties Union called it a “giant leap backwards.”
The new Kansas law requires photo ID from all in-person voters at every election. People submitting mail-in ballots must include either a copy of their photo ID or the number from the photo ID card. The law also requires proof of citizenship – a birth certificate, for example — for new voters who register on or after Jan. 1, 2013.
The ACLU complains that the new law offers free birth certificates only to Kansas-born residents, while residents born out-of-state “would bear the financial burden and trouble of contacting their home states to attain birth certificates” to meet the new law’s requirements. “The costs associated with meeting the new law’s requirements are especially burdensome to low-income voters,” the ACLU added.
The group says Kansas’ new voter ID law undermines efforts to expand the right to vote to “historically marginalized groups” such as racial minorities, low-income voters, the disabled, and senior citizens. It also rejects the argument that a photo ID will bar illegal immigrants from voting in Kansas. It says there is no evidence of rampant voter fraud.
I think the next step should be that everyone drawing any federal or state benefits through welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, etc, should also be required to show proof of ID and that you are a citizen of this country. Let’s keep our elections as honest as possible.