Kansas Statehouse
2:17 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

House Votes To Move Up Voters' Citizenship Requirement

The Kansas House has endorsed a plan that would require some potential voters to prove their U.S. citizenship before the November election.

The bill moves ahead a requirement for people to prove citizenship when registering to vote for the first time in Kansas. That law is currently set to take effect in January 2013. The House bill would move it to June of this year.

Ann Mah, a Topeka Democrat, says the change would stop some people from registering in time for the primary and the November election.

"And there's no reason to pull this date up," Mah insists. "The Secretary of State's not ready, the DMV's not ready, the election offices are sure not ready, and the voters are not ready."

Supporters of the bill have argued that it's needed to help stop voter fraud. They say it's important to have the new requirement in place before the presidential election.

Representative Scott Schwab is a Republican from Olathe.

"The question you've got to ask yourself is, do we want to start this process in June or January?" Schwab said. "All the other complaints have to do with whether or not you agree with voter I.D. -- that train's already left the station, and that's already law."

The bill will likely get final approval from the House tomorrow. It will then go to the Senate.