RON THORNBURGH
Secretary of State

STATE OF KANSAS
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
(785) 296-4564
www.kssos.org


NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Friday, April 18, 2003

Contact Information
Jesse Borjon, Communications Director
Office of the Secretary of State
(785) 296-4580
jesseb@kssos.org

THORNBURGH DISAPPOINTED WITH GOVERNOR’S VETO

Topeka, KS – “As Kansas’ chief election official, I am greatly disappointed that Governor Sebelius today vetoed the Help America Vote compliance legislation,” stated Thornburgh. “During my eighteen year tenure as an election administrator, I have always kept the election process nonpartisan to ensure the sanctity and security of elections for all Kansans.”

“In proposing this legislation, I had the best interests of Kansans in mind,” stated Thornburgh. “This bill would have brought Kansas into compliance with multiple federal requirements by the January 1, 2004, deadline. One component of the bill was a voter identification requirement for all Kansans. This uniform system would have ensured that all voters would be treated equally as required by the Bush v. Gore decision in the aftermath of the last presidential election.”

“In her veto message, Governor Sebelius claimed the proposed voter identification requirement would decrease voter turnout and undermine the privacy of voters,” stated Thornburgh. “Voter identification requirements have had no impact on voter turnout. Whether writing a check at the grocery store or renting a video – as a society we are accustomed to showing identification. I argue that voting is much more important and should be held to the same standard.”
 
“Governor Sebelius has jeopardized $27 million in federal funding for Kansas and our counties in the midst of a financial crisis,” stated Thornburgh.
 
“Putting aside our disagreement, I will now work with Governor Sebelius and the Kansas Legislature to ensure that Kansas complies with federal law,” stated Thornburgh.

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