Voter ID Bill Passes House with Primary Amendment

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The battle over having a presidential primary in Kansas in 2012 has already begun.

The House approved a bill Friday setting a primary for the first Saturday in February, 2012. The vote was 74-49.

The idea comes from Representative Tom Sawyer, a Wichita Democrat. He says primaries are better than caucuses because more people take part. Also, he believes a Saturday primary is easier for voters.

The main criticism of a primary is its $2 million cost.

Sawyer offered a successful amendment to a Senate-passed voter ID bill. It will be discussed in negotiations over the bill's final version.

The House version of the voter ID bill requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls starting in 2010.

The measure is a House substitute for a bill the Senate passed last year. Democrats fear it will lower turnout, but Republicans say it will prevent voter fraud.

The bill applies to anyone under 65 who goes to the polls or picks up an advance mail ballot in person, but not to seniors or the disabled.

A 2004 state law now says people must show ID when they register to vote for the first time in a county. The ID does not have to have a photo.

The Senate's bill imposed the photo ID requirement when people register. Negotiators for the two chambers will write the final version.

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