The integrity of elections has been a crucial concern of Kansans since the birth of our state. More than any other state, Kansas was born in an atmosphere of rampant voter fraud. Our first territorial legislative election saw 4,908 fraudulent votes cast (mostly by Missourians). In the ensuing years, many Kansans put themselves at great risk to safeguard the integrity of elections.
The Kansas (Wyandotte) Constitution, adopted in 1859, provided that every Kansas voter must be a United States citizen to cast a legal ballot. The Kansas Constitution also states that the Kansas Legislature shall provide for “proper proofs,” or evidence, of the right to vote. It was that authority that the Kansas Legislature exercised during the 2011 legislative session, when it enacted the Secure and Fair Elections Act, which I drafted.