Voter ID measures advance in Kansas, Missouri

February 27, 2011

By BRAD COOPER, The Kansas City Star

TOPEKA | Proposals requiring Kansas and Missouri residents to show picture IDs when they vote gained steam in both states’ legislatures Thursday.

One plan cruised through the Kansas House on a 78-36 vote, setting it up for final approval today.

The measure also would require every person to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Senate approved a constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo identification. If approved by the full General Assembly, it would go before voters in 2012.

The Kansas measure is one of Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s legislative priorities. He was elected last fall after promising to fight voter fraud.

The bill would give the secretary of state the authority to prosecute election crimes.

“I have seen extraordinarily high support for this among Kansas voters,” Kobach said. “It’s appropriate that the Kansas Legislature reflects such support.”

The Kansas bill would require voters to show IDs at the polls. The ID could include a driver’s license, a state ID card or a passport.

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