Kansas, how embarrassing. We’re only the ninth-hardest state in which to vote? Given all the energy that’s gone into making casting a ballot as difficult as possible here, this is hardly an impressive showing.

We not only let the likes of Mississippi and Tennessee get ahead of us in this regard — behind us, really, unless you remember that up is down. Turns out, even Indiana and Ohio have stocked their moats with more alligators, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Northern Illinois.

Kansas’ one clear slip-up was allowing early voting, unlike in Missouri, where who knows how many people who try to vote give up if the lines are too long on Election Day.

Otherwise, Kansas gets consistently high marks for building all kinds of little walls around its voting booths.

Much of the credit for this lack of access goes to Secretary of State and GOP gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach. But then, his Democratic rival, state Sen. Laura Kelly, also voted for Kobach’s voter ID law, key provisions of which were ruled unconstitutional.

Kobach showed his commitment to this suppressive exercise by getting himself held in contempt for failing to comply with the direct order of a federal judge to fully register the thousands of Kansas voters who had registered at the DMV but had not provided proof of citizenship.

Of course, there’s no same-day registration in Kansas, where registration closes a highly effective 21 days before Election Day.

There’s no automatic voter registration, either, though the opt-out rather than opt-in system that 13 states and the District of Columbia now use not only increases registration rates but also cleans up voter rolls and saves money.

This new study was based on the 2016 election. This year’s relocation of the only polling place in Dodge City, where 60 percent of the population is Hispanic, to a place outside Dodge City, more than a mile from the nearest bus stop, will surely make Kansas even more of a standout next time.

Still, there will be competition. There have been massive purges of legal voters in Georgia, where Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp is, like Kobach, overseeing his own election.

And let’s not underestimate North Dakota, where a new law requires that every voter has a street address on his or her voter ID — in a state where Native Americans living on reservations do not have street addresses.

To stay near the bottom of the pack in access to the basis of all democracy, Kansas can’t afford to get complacent.

Kansas City Star

(5) comments

booker5m

I do not see how it's hard to vote in KS?
You go to the doc. you have prove who you are,go to Wal-Mart they want to know who you are. I have no problem pulling out an ID. to vote.

Out Of Here Prev: SnowGypsy

It isn't hard to vote in KS, unless you aren't legally qualified to vote. That deal with Dodge City that people whine about has more to do not with the population but the fact that they are legally qualified to vote being the reason they aren't voting. Sure some of the slip through the system and are counted in the census, but voting takes fraud to a new level. And, yes, photo ID is required many places, and the Kansas is issuing free photo ID for the purpose of voting through the DL office, the same place others go and pay for either state IDs or Driver's Licenses. The Democrats are hurting for voters, so they are shaking the bushes and blaming voter requirements for their demise. Yeah, more citizens wanting a hand up rather than a hand out is what has put the Dems where they are.

sarelon

Dodge City has over 13,000 registered voters and not a single one of them has been charged with voter fraud. Why would an illegal want to vote? They would be committing a crime and possibly draw attention to themselves because of it. Yes, the state of Kansas is having to spend untold amounts of money to provide free IDs to people. If they require an ID and don't provide them for free then it amounts to a poll tax. I thought you were all about the government not wasting money? KKKobach has had the authority to investigate and prosecute voter fraud for years now. To date I believe he has charged 9 people - 8 were old white Republicans voting twice and one was a legal immigrant who mistakenly voted right before he officially because a U.S. citizen. KKKobach's whole campaign is nothing but a thinly veiled racist attack designed to whip the uninformed into a froth.

jeronimo

Sarelon is scared her democrats won't get their opportunity to loot the public treasury ---so needed democrat votes come from the election fraud of resident aliens and illegal aliens getting registered to vote ----that is why these Rabid Liberals like her--- Hate anything that cuts down on the the voter fraud --it is deprives the democrats of the votes needed ----Kansas is probably the easiest place to vote that i have ever experienced ---the article is just a Liberal Democrat hit piece just before the election from our "unbiased" Gazette -----lol --

sarelon

Showing ID isn't even mentioned in the article. Lots of other barriers are. When did you prove your citizenship to vote?

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