Court trumps voter ID requirement

News editor

Some Marion County voters who registered when they obtained or renewed drivers licenses may be in limbo when it comes to counting their votes in November.

In 2013, Kansas implemented a voter registration law requiring proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, to combat what secretary of state Kris Kobach claimed was widespread voter fraud.

However, voters who registered through the motor vehicle department, a federally-instituted procedure, didn’t have to present proof of citizenship.

Kobach sought to require 17,500 DMV registrants to comply with Kansas requirements before they could vote in the August primary, but he was overruled by a Shawnee County district judge in July.

While the battle continues between Kobach and the courts, county clerk Tina Spencer said the best way to avoid problems in November is for voters to verify their registration before Oct. 18.

Voters who registered using a federal form commonly provided in venues such as party caucuses also are impacted, Spencer said.

In a review of county voter registrations, Spencer said between 70 and 80 voters appear to be in limbo. The easiest way for these people to ensure their right to vote in November is to present proof of citizenship at the clerk’s office before the deadline.

All voters are encouraged to make sure their registration information is up to date, Spencer said. A common issue is not updating addresses after moving, which can cause problems and delays when poll workers check identification against registration records.

Spencer said people can check their registration information online at, as well as view a sample ballot.

If errors are discovered, they can be corrected by going to the clerk’s office in the county courthouse, or online at

Spencer said she receives weekly updates from Kobach’s office about elections procedures. If registration questions arise at the polls, voters will receive a provisional ballot on which to record their votes. Those votes would be counted if cleared during a postelection vote canvas.

Last modified Sept. 29, 2016