Need cost-benefit analysis on voting reform

voteridEven though there have been only six convictions of voter fraud in Kansas since 2002 out of millions of votes cast, Kansas Secretary of State-elect Kris Kobach argues that “one is too many.” But shouldn’t there be a cost-benefit analysis on Kobach’s plan to require photo identification for voting and a birth certificate for registering to vote? As an Eagle article Monday reported, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school estimated that 11 percent of registered voters don’t have photo identification cards. Many Kansans also don’t have readily available birth certificates. Before rushing to approve restrictions on voting rights, legislators need to carefully consider whether doing so is worth the cost of implementing those policies and the likelihood of disenfranchising eligible voters, given that voter fraud is a virtually nonexistent problem.