By Brian Heap
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
5:51 PM CDT, August 7, 2012
So far, so good in the first statewide test of the Kansas voter I.D. law. Sedgwick County elections officials report no major problems and say no voters have been turned away.
"Right now, it's going very smoothly," said Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman. She said some voters have been calling her office just to verify the I.D. they have is acceptable.
The controversial S.A.F.E. Act was put in place to crackdown on voter fraud and ensure fairer elections. But critics have said the law is itself is “unfair” and intended to suppress minority voters.A polling location near 21st& Grove had a large number of African-American voters during the lunch hours.
"I don't have any problem with it," said Kathy Littlejohn. She said showing a photo I.D. is just an accepted fact of life. Her feelings were shared by the vast majority of voters at the polling location.
Officials at that polling location said one voter forgot an I.D. in the car and only needed to go back out to the parking lot to get it. Another voter expressed some resentment about being asked to show I.D. but eventually did so.
"I think it's stupid," said Sandra Bell.
She feels it is a voter suppression issue. Bell used her I.D. to vote, but said she knows of several people who won't cast ballots Tuesday because they don't have or can't afford a photo I.D.
"They just stay at home, which I believe is the plan," Bell said.
The state does offer a special voter identification document. It's free, but can only be used for voting purposes.
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