There are two different and seemingly contradictory forms you can use to register to vote in Kansas.
- The “Federal Form” is recognized by the federal government as valid in all 50 states
- The “State Form” is produced by the Kansas Secretary of State and has a very different set of requirements
Knowing which form to use can be confusing and each carry their own pros and cons. We’ll try to explain how each form works and which one you need to vote.
Why the confusion?
The Kansas Legislature with leadership from the Kansas Secretary of State have undertaken an ambitious and controversial effort to dramatically alter Kansas’ voter registration laws.
In 2011, the Kansas Legislature passed legislation that adds new “proof of citizenship” requirements to the state voter registration form. Read the new requirements here.
Since the passage of these new voter ID laws in Kansas, the federal form and the state form have dramatically different registration requirements. However, this creates the potential for a dual system of voter registration — those registering to vote using the federal form may only vote in federal elections (for President, Congress, etc.) whereas those using the state form may vote in all elections.
These plans for a dual system have recently been blocked by Judicial rulings on numerous lawsuits. So the current “best practices” for voter registration can change quickly.
So which form do I use?
With the court injunctions in place the federal form is the easiest and most straightforward document to use.
You can download the federal form here in english or in other languages below:
- Formulario nacional de inscripción de votantes — Spanish
- 国家邮件选民登记表 — Chinese
- 国立メール有権者登録フォーム — Japanese
- 전국 우편 유권자 등록 양식 — Korean
- National Mail Form ng Pagpaparehistro ng Botante — Tagalog
- Mẫu đăng ký quốc gia Thư cử tri — Vietnamese
- राष्ट्रीय डाक मतदाता पंजीकरण फॉर्म – Hindi
- জাতীয় ডাক ভোটার নিবন্ধন ফরম – Bengali
- ទម្រង់បែបបទនៃការចុះឈ្មោះអ្នកបោះឆ្នោតថ្នាក់ជាតិ – Khmer
The absolute easiest way to register is by filling out the federal form online at https://ksvotes.org/. You can check your voter registration status there as well.
If you are interested in conducting a voter registration drive in your community see this excellent overview from the Fair Elections Network: http://fairelectionsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/Kansas-Guide-to-Voter-Registration-Drives.pdf
As things change we will make sure to keep this page updated.
What happens when I get to the voting booth? What do I need to know then?
There have been changes there, too. There are very specific rules about identification that you’ll need to keep in mind on Election Day:
- Kansas voters must show photo ID when casting a vote in person
- Kansas voters must have their signatures verified
- If you’re voting by mail, you’ll need to include a copy of an acceptable form of photo ID or provide a full Kansas driver’s license or non-driver ID number