Kansas' Spanish-Language Voting Guide Contains Some Very Suspicious Errors

Kansas' Spanish-Language Voting Guide Contains Some Very Suspicious Errors
Source: AP
Source: AP

If you speak Spanish and plan to vote in Kansas, you might want to read this. There's stuff you should know.

According to the Wichita Eagle, the state's voting guide for Spanish-language speakers gave some very different instructions from the English version — instructions that, if followed, would effectively prevent many Hispanics from voting.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach testifies at an election fraud hearing in November 2014.
Source: 
John Hanna/AP

Democratic consultant Chris Reeves broke the news for Daily Kos on Thursday. After talking with a Spanish-speaking acquaintance, he learned two important things:

1. The Spanish-language voting guide in Kansas incorrectly stated people must be registered to vote 15 days before an election. The correct number, as stated in the English version, is actually 21 days (the number was changed in 2014, the Wichita Eagle reported).

This means Spanish-speakers in Kansas would have been under the impression they had six extra days to register — a six-day period during which, if they registered, their vote would be ineligible.

In the original Kansas Spanish-language voting guide, reference to the 15-days-prior registration deadline is in the bottom-left corner.
Source: 
Kansas Secretary of State

2. The Spanish-language version failed to mention that a passport is a valid form of ID used for voter registration. The English-language version, on the other hand, mentions it clearly.

This is significant because it gives the impression that other forms of identification, like a driver's license, are the only valid ones — a perception especially notable for people who don't have driver's licenses or who travel often between the U.S. and Mexico, Central America or South America using their passports.

In the Kansas English-language voting guide, reference to the 21-days-prior registration deadline is in the bottom-left corner.
Source: 
Kansas Secretary of State

Craig McCullah, a spokesman for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, acknowledged these errors. "It was an administrative error that I am diligently working to fix," he told the Wichita Eagle in a story published Friday.

The Daily Kos story hinted that suspicions have already been raised about whether the mistakes were intentional. Kobach, a Republican, has long been known as a fierce advocate for strident voter ID laws — laws widely acknowledged as thinly veiled ways to prevent racial minorities, who are less likely to have different forms of ID, from voting.

Kansas voters line up at the polls in March for the Republican primary.
Source: 
John Hanna/AP

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Kobach in February, claiming Kansas' voter ID laws, particularly the proof-of-citizenship requirement, violate federal law.

"What's happening in Kansas is outrageous," Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, told MSNBC. "Thousands of Kansans, including military veterans who have valiantly served our country, are blocked from voting by unnecessary bureaucratic roadblocks imposed by state officials. These shameful actions have made Kansas an epicenter of voter suppression."

The state of Kansas is 11% Hispanic.

The Wichita Eagle reported the errors in the online voting guide have since been corrected, and the rest of the Spanish text has been sent to professional translators to make sure no more errors were made.

Either way, it's already shaping up to be a wild election season. There's little reason to believe that will change between now and November.

h/t Colorlines


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article70943892.html#storylink=cpy

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Zak Cheney Rice

Zak is a Senior Staff Writer at Mic.

MORE FROM

Sam Brownback: 3 things to know about Trump’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

Brownback was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which created the job he's now nominated for.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

Sam Brownback: 3 things to know about Trump’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

Brownback was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which created the job he's now nominated for.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.