A bipartisan group Kansas senators endorsed a bill abandoning a state law requiring people to register at least three weeks in advance of an election to be eligible to vote.
Contents of Senate Bill 43 would allow Kansans residents to register to vote and cast a provisional ballot on Election Day.
Under current law, voters must be registered by the 21st day before the election. For example, the 2018 deadline for voter registration was July 17 for the primary conducted Aug. 7. In the Nov. 6 general election, the registration deadline was Oct. 16.
"We are supposed to be doing what we can to make it easier for people to vote. It’s a right, not a privilege," said Wichita Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, who serves as assistant Democratic leader in Senate. "During the most recent campaign cycle, everyone I talked to wanted same-day voter registration. It just makes sense."
Sen. Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City, was among 11 Democratic senators, including Topeka Sens. Vic Miller and Anthony Hensley, who sponsored introduction Thursday of the election bill. The group was joined by Sen. John Skubal, R-Overland Park, and Sen. John Doll, an independent from Garden City.
"With today’s technology, there is no reason our election offices can’t handle same-day voter registration," Pettey said.
The bill wouldn't alter a state requirement that voters present a photograph identification card at the polling station.
In June, a U.S. District Court judge struck down the Kansas law requiring citizens to present proof of citizenship when registering to vote.