As you know, during the 2011 Kansas Legislative session a bill was passed called the Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act.
This Act was intended to ensure that all voters are qualified to vote and to make it more difficult to cast an illegal vote.
The final portion of the SAFE Act went into effect on January 1, 2013. This portion of the Act requires anyone registering to vote in the State of Kansas for the first time to provide satisfactory evidence of U.S. citizenship. The following is a partial list of documents that may be used to verify citizenship when registering to vote in Kansas.
• Birth Certificate
• U.S. Passport (may be expired)
• U.S. Naturalization documents
• U.S. military record of service showing the applicant’s place of birth in the U.S.
• Final adoption decree showing the applicant’s name and U.S. birthplace
• Consular report of birth abroad of a citizen of the U.S.
• Extract from a U.S. hospital record of birth created at the time of the applicant’s birth indicating the applicant’s place of birth in the U.S.
If a citizenship document is not provided, at the time of registration, we are required to enter the applicant’s information into the voter registration database with a status of “Suspense” and a letter is sent telling them they need to provide additional documentation. Once the required documentation has been provided, their registration will be processed and they will be added to the registration rolls. They would not be required to provide evidence of citizenship again, unless their registration is canceled and they re-register.
Currently, in Cloud County, we have approximately eighty (80) people who have attempted to register and have not provided proof of citizenship. If documentation is not provided before the next election, their name cannot be added to the registration rolls because they have not met all of the requirements to become a registered voter. They would be required to vote a Provisional Ballot and their ballot would not count.
Hopefully, this information will help everyone be prepared for the upcoming election cycle. We want to make the registration process easy and to be able to fully process their registration and give them the opportunity to cast a ballot and have it count. If anyone has questions regarding their voter registration or elections, in general, please call the Cloud County Clerk’s office at 785.243.8110.
Cloud County Clerk/