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2012 will bring voting changes

POSTED September 28, 2011 1:54 p.m.
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Changes are coming in how Kansans vote and County Clerk Donna Zimmerman is working now to make sure everyone in this area is aware in plenty of time.
Zimmerman said this week that she wants to start educating voters that they will need a photo ID in order to vote in 2012.
There is a list of what qualifies and voters with questions can check with her department.
The changes will continue the next year, she added. In 2013, voters will need to prove their citizenship when they vote for the first time.
The changes are not popular in some places, according to the Associated Press: “Several states adopted new laws last year requiring that people show a photo ID when they come to vote even though the kind of election fraud that the laws are intended to stamp out is rare. Even supporters of the new laws are hard pressed to come up with large numbers of cases in which someone tried to vote under a false identify.
“Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin have passed laws this year that allow voters without the required photo ID to cast provisional ballots, but the voters must return to a specific location with that ID within a certain time limit for their ballots to count.
“Indiana and Georgia already had such laws. Other states have photo ID laws too, but provide different way to verify a voter’s identity without a photo ID. Texas and South Carolina are awaiting approval for their laws from the Justice Department because of those are among that states with a history of voting rights suppression and discrimination.”
Other changes Zimmerman is facing include changing the filing deadline from June 10 to June 1 to provide more time for overseas ballots to be mailed out to service members and other changes that will be caused by redistricting.
It all means that Zimmerman will be busy with training her staff and volunteers to work with photo IDs, as well as educating the public so they won’t have to turn people away from the polls next year.

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