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The S.A.F.E. Act

The Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act was passed by the Kansas Legislature and signed by Governor Brownback in the 2011 legislative session. Secretary of State Kris Kobach was instrumental in securing the passage of this landmark piece of legislation. The main components of the SAFE Act are as follows:

First, a photographic identification will be required of every voter in every election beginning January 1, 2012, subject to limited exemptions. The ID must have the name and photo of the person as they are registered to vote. Commonly accepted forms of ID include: driver's license, state issued identification card, passport, employee badge issued by a governmental unit, and a student identification card issued by an accredited college or university in Kansas. A person whose religious beliefs prohibit photographic identification may be exempted from this requirement.

Second, beginning January 1, 2013, every person registering to vote for the first time in Kansas must provide proof of U.S. citizenship with the registration application. Commonly accepted proof of citizenship documents include: copy of a birth certificate, valid or expired passport, and naturalization documents.

Election Crimes

Third, beginning January 1, 2012, there will be increased security of advance ballots by mail. Voters who request ballots by mail must include their driver's license number on the ballot application form or a copy of one of the photo ID documents. In addition, advance voters by mail must personally sign their ballot applications, and they must personally mail or deliver their ballots to the election office or designate in writing someone else to deliver the ballot. A person who is designated to deliver a ballot on behalf of someone else must sign a statement saying the voter was not unduly influenced and the ballot was delivered as directed.

Chapter 25, Article 24 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated outlines election crimes, including corrupt political advertising, election bribery, bribery to induce signing of nomination papers, election perjury, election forgery, disorderly election conduct, possessing false or forged election supplies, intimidation of voters, voting without being qualified, bribery of an election official, bribe acceptance by an election official, misconduct of an election officer, election fraud by an election officer, election suppression, unauthorized voting disclosure, election tampering, false impersonation as party officer, voting machine fraud, printing and circulating imitation ballots, marking ballots to identify, destruction of election supplies, destruction of election papers, electioneering at polling places, false impersonation of a voter, and forfeiture of office or employment upon conviction.