By Susan Gager
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
3:51 PM CDT, July 16, 2012
No valid ID? No vote as of January this year. With the primary deadline so close, staff at some nursing homes was concerned the voter ID law would deprive their elderly residents from registering to vote in the primaries.
“I know that it's a law in Kansas to have a valid Kansas ID even if you don't have a valid driver's license, but the reality is many people in hospitals, or in this case they haven't driven for years because they're in a retirement community,” said Kansas Masonic Home marketing director Jill Laffoon.
Some nursing homes across Kansas have had difficulty getting the registration paperwork needed for their residents to vote, but at the Kansas Masonic Home they've found some leniency in the law.
“Over 95% of our residents that vote are going to be voting advanced because most of them don't drive,” said Laffoon.
The absentee ballot or advanced voting option-- saves voters the trip to the election office. For some elderly residents with no ID, it's saved their power to vote this year.
“You can apply to be on our permanent advance list. That means that every election you would be mailed a ballot automatically. You don't have to reapply everytime, and if you are applying to be on our permanent list, and you have an illness or disability you do not have to meet the photo ID requirements,” said Sedgwick County commissioner Tabitha Lehman.
Kansas Masonic Home got ahead by having a Sedgwick county election official explain to residents their options making sure they get their chance to vote.
“These are the people that shape this country so they're definitely not giving up their voting rights,” said Laffoon.
Tuesday is the last day to register for the primary election. You can either check into your local election office or register online.
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