“About 13,000 voters have been knocked off the voting roles because of Kobach’s New Law.” said Louis Goseland, of Sunflower Community Action, who chaired the event. He was referring to Secretary of State of Kansas Kris Kobach’s voter picture ID laws which he got passed in the Kansas legislature.
“He could site less than 100 cases of voter fraud when he passed the bill,” Goseland added.
Goseland also said that voter fraud was never the key reason for that. He pointed out this was a bill that has been promoted by the conservative activist PAC the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). They want voter restriction laws that go state by state. He played a clip from Youtube where Paul Weyrich, an ALEC member said "I don't want everybody to vote." Weyrich admitted that ALEC and the conservatives leverage goes up as the voting numbers go down.
Groseland said that people are getting notes telling them they need to come in and prove they are citizens and they have to show a birth certificate. Many of the 13,000 who could not cast their votes in the last election are in a type of voter limbo.
Another fact that was brought up was the US Supreme Court has struck down a voter ID in Arizona that is similar to the one here in Kansas. People at that meeting were wondering if there is a possibility of doing that here.
There were two sessions on what can be done to fight against the voter suppression laws here in Kansas. There was a session on what kind of pressure can be brought to our elected leaders to change our laws, and the other session was to look at changes in the laws to add to the voter rolls rather than cut down on them.
As for putting pressure on elected officials, some of the ideas included writing letters to the editor, filing lawsuits against Kobach and other similar Kansas politicians, protesting at the Kansas State House offices and flooding their offices with phone calls and faxes. Also suggested was asking the opinion of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
A group of people came up with some Ideas for changing the laws, such as letting felons vote, letting children of emigrants vote, and using social media to promote the write to vote.