The latest candidate to join the race for secretary of state says strict Kansas voter registration policies should stay in place, but they could be better implemented.
Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Scott Schwab says if elected he’d work to streamline the voter registration process. That could include improving the transfer of documents between state agencies and beefing up election staff.
Schwab says enforcement of the tougher voter registration policies needs to be efficient.
“So people don’t get frustrated, and people don’t feel like they’re not able to vote because there was a hiccup," Schwab says. "Let’s make it as smooth and seamless as [we] can."
People registering to vote for the first time in Kansas have to prove their citizenship.
The law has been controversial, with critics arguing the process has been inconvenient and blocked thousands of eligible voters. Schwab says the law passed with big majorities in the Legislature and changing course would cause further confusion.
The chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, Kelly Arnold, and Republican Rep. Keith Esau are also running for secretary of state.
Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.