By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Stricter voter ID requirements are part of a controversial law that more and more Republican-leaning states are adopting. Kansas already has a version in place but, this week, a federal court rejected a similar proposal in Texas leaving many to ask what it means for the Sunflower State.
In 2011 Kansas became one of 33 states that have enacted some sort of voter ID law. The Secure and Fair Elections Act calls for anyone voting in person to present a photo ID and anyone casting a ballot through the mail to have their signature verified and include a copy of an acceptable form of photo ID.
Texas was trying to pass a similar plan, but a panel of three federal judges shot down the proposal.
Dr. Greg Vonnahme, a political science professor with the University of Missouri - Kansas City said the decision doesn't have a direct affect on Kansas voters.
"At this point there is no direct threat to Kansas' law obviously this restriction is only for Texas so it doesn't apply to any other state besides Texas," he said.
Vonnahme said it's hard to compare the two cases because Kansas and Texas have such a different landscape when it comes to their voters.
"The difference between the two laws has less to do with what the law requires and more to do with different racial and ethnic groups and different geography. A lot of the court's decision has to do with how it would be implemented in Texas, not what it requires," he said.
Vonnahme said because Republicans have a solid majority in state politics, the only real threat to the voter ID requirements is lawsuit before the Supreme Court. But, even in that case, he said the justices would likely only recommend slight tweaks in favor of sweeping changes.
"They could provide more guidance, more specific standards for photo ID laws but, given the current conditions, I doubt there would be any successful challenges to the Kansas law," he said.
The Kansas law passed in 2011 and many will be keeping a close eye on this November's presidential elections to see how well it works.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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