Kansas Secretary of State Kobach — who ran his campaign on preventing voter fraud (and claimed a living voter was dead) — has been hitting the road for “Kobach’s Voter ID Tour, aimed at informing voters of the requirement.
Proponents of the increased voter identification restrictions often point to Rhode Island as proof that the laws are not simply a Republican plank. Rhode Island, which maintains a heavily Democratic legislature, has implemented a system of transitional voter identification regulations, which will still allow voters to allow provisional ballots if they do not present proper identification.
Rob Rock, who works in the Office of Elections, said that his office has thus far visited 70 communities across the state since January, bringing a series of fliers and regulation booklets explaining the new regulations. Rock also noted that the office will travel to more sites in September and November, and will include information on the regulations in the voter referenda, which will detail the multiple ballots and resolutions placed on the upcoming ballot.
The state will also unfurl a series of multimedia educational outreach programs “closer to the election,” according to Chris Barnett, communications director for the Secretary of State, but that a budget had not yet been finalized. Barnett noted while the creative process has not yet begun, he believes all decision-making would remain in-house.
Like Rhode Island, Mississippi passed its voter identification with a large contingent of Democrats in its state legislature. The requirements are still pending federal approval, but the state has opted for a “proactive, rather than reactive approach,” according to Pamela Weaver, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office.
Weaver noted that the state has sent over 5,000 posters and 10,000 postcards explaining the requirements to residents and associations across the state. She also said her office disbursed radio PSAs to numerous stations across the state, asking the stations to play the ads “at their convenience.”
While only 75 individuals contacted the state in response — with only 35 requiring new state-issued IDs — Weaver said she was happy to have begun the educational process before the law was fully implemented. “Once the requirement is approved in court, we will already by one step ahead,” she said.
Casey Michel contributed