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Kobach plans to push to make it illegal for voters to take a photo of their completed ballots

  • Eagle Topeka bureau
  • Published Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at 3:49 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at 7:03 a.m.

TOPEKA — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he will push for a law next year that would make it illegal for Kansans to take a photograph of their completed ballots.

Currently, it is illegal for any election worker to photograph a ballot in Kansas. But there is no law prohibiting voters from snapping a picture, Kobach said.

Many people seem to be using the photos mostly to advocate for a specific candidate or show pride in how they voted by posting photos to Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.

But Kobach said that historically ballot photos have been used by voters as evidence to show someone how they voted in return for payment or favors.

He said he plans to introduce legislation in the 2013 legislative session to prohibit that activity.

Kobach, who has pressed for a variety of controversial laws he says could prevent fraud, acknowledged that ballot photographs have become more complicated with the proliferation of social media and photo-altering software.

Several states already have laws preventing voters from taking photos of their ballots.

This was the first year in which Kansans had to show a photo ID in order to vote. Starting next year, voters will have to show proof of their citizenship to register to vote under a controversial new law.

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