OLATHE, Kan. - While a public school ID card can get you into a voting booth in Kansas, a private school ID card won't. This latest decision by the Secretary of State’s office is stirring controversy.
Starting this year, Kansas voters must bring an ID card or proof of citizenship with them to the polls. Once a voter is approved, he or she can cast their ballot.
NBC News reports at least 17 states across the country passed similar voter ID laws in the past year.
Until Wednesday, the assumption was all school-issued ID’s counted for Kansas student voters. However, that’s not actually the case.
On Wednesday, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach interpreted the law to include public school-issued ID’s but not private school-issued ID’s.
President of St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Bill Ford was disappointed by the voter ID decision.
“Our feeling was that either school ID’s were going to be valid or they weren't," Ford said while explaining how the issue really wasn’t on his radar until this week.
“There's nothing on a Blue Valley North ID that's not on a St. Thomas Aquinas ID. We have the date, we have our logo, we have the school year it's valid and we have a picture," Ford described.
Of the 245 seniors at his school this year, Ford estimates about 60 are eligible to vote. He does believe many will still be able to cast ballots.
"Most of our kids have driver’s licenses. So, to me it's a matter of principle,” he said.
Ford said his school follows the same regulations as every public school in Kansas. However, he believes his students were left out of a system of convenience.
There are nine forms of identification that will be accepted at the polls next month. Go to GotVoterID.com to make sure you’re prepared before you cast your vote.
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