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Kansas Governor Sebelius Vetoes Voter ID Bill PDF  | Print |  Email
By Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius   
May 19, 2008
Governor’s Veto Message for HB 2019

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius issued the following statement on her veto of Kansas HB 2019

We have a rich history and tradition in Kansas of working to increase citizen participation in our democracy. Voting has become easier and more convenient in our state over the past decade due to measures like advance voting.

Here in Kansas and across the country, we have seen a record number of new voters active in the election process. Secretaries of State across the country are anticipating record-breaking turnout in November. We must take advantage of this opportunity to engage the next generation of leaders and decision makers in the political process, and ensure their participation continues throughout their lifetimes.

Additionally, no elected official should support enacting new laws discouraging or disenfranchising any American who has been legally voting for years. I cannot support creating any roadblock to prevent our citizens from adding their voices to the democratic discourse that makes our nation great.

The Secretary of State’s office is charged with the oversight of elections in Kansas and our hard working county clerks and election officials deserve thanks for ensuring the integrity of the democratic process. I have the utmost confidence in their diligence to guarantee secure and fair elections across our state. HB 2019 seeks to solve a problem of voter fraud which does not exist in our state due to the tireless efforts of our local election officials.
I am encouraged with the Legislature’s action to change the date of the 2012 presidential preference primary to the first Saturday in February. However, I find it unfortunate that this measure, which would help boost voter turnout and participation in the future, is coupled with burdensome provisions prohibiting many across our state from exercising their right to vote. I encourage the Legislature to take action on this matter next session, and include funding for the primary in the FY 2012 budget.

It is my belief that HB 2019 goes against our state’s long standing tradition of striving to achieve greater voter participation in our democratic process. The needless, additional identification requirements of HB 2019 will only work to disenfranchise many of the electorate and serve as a barrier to their participation in the democratic process. Therefore, pursuant to Article 2, Section 14 of the Kansas Constitution, I veto House Bill 2019.
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