The following op-ed column is written by JR Claeys (below), who is running for the 2010 Republican nomination for Kansas Secretary of State, a position currently held by the retiring Ron Thornburgh. To submit your own article, please send it to the following Email address, editor [at] kansasprogress dot com.
By J.R. Claeys:
Photo identification presented at the polling place when receiving a ballot is the best available procedure to ensure accuracy and security while protecting citizens’ right to vote.
Several states have implemented weaker forms of voter identification and I fear Kansas may follow. These weaker forms allow for utility bills or a piece of mail to serve as valid identification at a polling place. The requirements vary, but the national law allows for more than 15 forms, including cable bills and telephone bills.
What causes a problem at the polling place is the complexity of the current national law being applied to every voter during every election. Right now only first-time voters are required to show one of these weaker forms of “ID.” When all voters are required to present an ID, the ID’s must be uniform and free from interpretation, otherwise we risk reducing voter turnout by causing the elderly, the infirm and the disabled to leave long lines caused by reviews of varying forms of identification. (more…)