In reaction to the new photo ID voter law, the group KANVOTE went to the DMV (driver’s license office) in west Wichita, last Tuesday, to question the new law. The new law requires all voters to show a state or Federally issued picture ID, such as a drivers license, passport, or a state ID which is obtainable at one of the two Driver’s license offices, here in Wichita.
KAKE TV News covered the protest and they estimated that about 40 people showed up. Members of the group insisted the law is unconstitutional.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach pushed for the new law insisting that illegal aliens were voting and that Kansas was saddled with voter fraud. Most researchers have found very little voter fraud. More likely this is an attempt by Republicans to assure that poor and less educated voters will find the new rules to cumbersome and confusing for them to bother to vote. A person trying to get a state issued ID from the DMV is likely to have to wait as many as three hours to get it. Birth certificates and other forms of ID are required to get the Kansas picture ID, much the same as getting a driver’s license for the first time. While most people have a driver’s license, some people don’t or don’t even drive.
The march began at the Peace and Social Justice Center.
According to a statement by Charles J. Schoch, an opponent of the new law;
"In 2011, the Kansas legislature passed legislation making it harder to vote in the state, disenfranchise thousands of voters, and make it nearly impossible for grassroots Kansas organizations to run voter registration drives.
But worse yet is that the law went into effect January 1, but as of January 3, local DMVs had received no resources or training to supply the thousands of temporary IDs necessary to ensure all Kansans can vote in the critical 2012 election.
And now Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is pushing for rushed implementation of additional provisions of the law originally set to go into effect in 2013, including a requirement that voters provide a birth certificate or proof of citizenship to register to vote.
Rushed implementation could make this bad law much, much worse. That's why I created a petition to the Kansas State House and Senate and Governor Sam Brownback on SignOn.org urging them not to rush implementation of the Kansas voter ID law."
Many other states are passing similar laws and all are likely to be challenged in the courts.