| RON THORNBURGH
Secretary of State
STATE OF KANSAS
|Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 18, 2003
Jesse Borjon, Communications Director
Office of the Secretary of State
THORNBURGH DISAPPOINTED WITH GOVERNORS 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
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,