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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

ACLU: Federal, State Governments Make Own Rules On Voting

Laura Spencer
KCUR/File photo

Oct. 18 is the deadline in Kansas to register to vote in next month's elections. But, as KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc reports, the documentation you need is not the same across the board.

This is an exceptional election in many ways, but in Kansas, a changing set of rules has made it downright confusing for many people.

Because of a recent court order, people who register with a federal form, such as at the DMV, do not need citizenship documents--while those who register using Kansas forms must present a passport or birth certificate.

Doug Bonney with the ACLU says that the requirement for proof in one place and not another is because both the federal government and the state make their own rules.

"We live in a federal system. We have two sovereigns," he says. "Every citizen of a state has a state government that is a sovereign, and the federal government is a sovereign."

That means that some people will be allowed to vote having had to prove citizenship, while others must only take an oath.

Bonney says the easiest thing to do on the last day is to register with the federal form.


Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.