On Tuesday, a 97-year-old nursing home resident was denied the right to vote in a Kansas primary election because she did not have a photo ID.
Beth Hiller, along with several over nursing home residents, had made the trip from the home’s health care unit on a shuttle.
It wasn’t until she arrived at the polls that she was informed that her lack of photo ID was a problem under Kansas’ strict voter ID law, which disenfranchises voters without identification.
In fact, Kansas’ ID law is so strict that voters are even prohibited from casting an absentee ballot unless they have ID.
In 2011, Secretary of State Kris Kobach persuaded Legislature of the need for a law requiring photo ID to vote and proof of citizenship to register.
Kansas’ voter ID law stipulates that a voter who lacks a photo ID and who therefore casts a provisional ballot must show up at the local election office with identification before their ballot can be counted.
Hiller, however, was also denied the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot – even though she was entitled to do so under Kansas’ law.
As Think Progress reports, voter ID laws can be particularly disenfranchising to elderly voters, who are less likely to have driver’s licenses and may have little need for ID in their daily lives.
Meanwhile, cases of voter fraud at the polls are reported to be nearly non-existent. According to Think Progress, a study conducted last week surveyed the more than one billion votes cast in the US between 2000 and 2014 and found only 31 credible cases of impersonation at the polls.