Kansas became the 34th state of the United States of America on January 29, 1861. Its declaration into statehood was shrouded with violence as it became a battleground for most of its first 100 years of existence.
Currently, Kansas has 328 prisoners for every 100,000 residents, which is 17% lower than the national average of 395 per 100,000 residents. However, it is still 9000 prisoners too many than the state-standard in prison population density.
It is true that incarceration takes several civil liberties of an individual, but the capacity to vote is as much an obligation as it is a right. It shows an individual’s patriotism and care for the welfare of his nation.
Can Felons Vote in Kansas?
Kansas supports the law that acknowledges the restoration of voting rights after a prisoner has served the legal sentence. North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Washington are among other states that support the same law.
The state places trust in its prison system to rehabilitate felons into working members of society and in the capacity of individuals to turn a new leaf. In turn, it gives ex-felons a true second chance at life.
Similarly, refusing to restore an ex-felon’s right to vote is a form of prison sentence in itself. It disables ex-felons, who have served the sanction for his crime, from completely regaining his status in society.
However, Kansas requires ex-felons to pay all monetary obligations before restituting their voting rights. This provision in the state felon voting law met oppositions because it fails to consider ex-felons who have no immediate capacity to pay their monetary dues.
How Felons Can Restore Voting Rights in Kansas?
Kansas believes in the automatic restoration of voting rights, requiring no further applications from the ex-offender. However, ex-felons must follow these steps before the can be allowed to vote:
- An ex-felon can restore his right to vote simply by re-registering as an eligible voter. The state demands no obligation from a felon except to serve his legal sentence and complete any supervised sanctions by the state including monetary demands.
- Ex-felons must obtain a printable voter’s registration form from the official website of the Kansas Secretary of State.
- After accomplishing the form, ex-felons do not need to attach any forms of their Release; the form itself contains an affidavit stating that one’s rights has been restored
- Afterwards, they must also print out an official state envelope, which is also in the Kansas Secretary of State website, and enclose the voter’s registration form and send it to the office of the Kansas Secretary of State. The envelop already has an affixed address of the designated office