Kansas ACLU director speaks on importance of individual voting rights

Micah Kubic, executive director of the Kansas ACLU, laughs at a joke from one of the audience members. Kubic spoke at the K-State Student Union's Wildcat Chamber on Monday as one of the speakers for Living Democracy. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

Micah Kubic, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, spoke Monday about the importance of voters’ rights in the state in Kansas State Student Union’s Wildcat Chamber.

“The right to vote is an important part of our democracy,” Kubic said. “It is the cornerstone of our democracy. It determines whether you are part of the community or not.”

Kubic said he believes voters’ rights to be a hot button issue right now, especially in Kansas when the issue is revolving around Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the law he is defending in court this week.

The current law requires unregistered voters to provide a passport or birth certificate when they apply for registration. Though the ACLU strongly opposes the law in question, Kubic said they also acknowledge that there is strong support in favor of the law as well.

Kubic said he thinks the law is illegal because of the barriers it raises for thousands of citizens in Kansas, which would prevent a lot of citizens from being able to vote.

“Not only is it wrong, but it is plum stupid and it is illegal,” Kubic said.

Kubic said one of the groups directly targeted by the law is the elderly, who may not have a birth certificate because they may have been born at home, and such documentation was only awarded to individuals born in the hospital.

Kubic also discussed voting rights on campus and how to get students at K-State and other young people more engaged by registering to vote.

Karen Hummel, event attendee, said she thought a good way to reach out to young people is through social media.

“We need to get out and we need to engage young voters,” Hummel said. “The world they will live in is dependent on their vote.”

For more information about how to register to vote, head to ksvotes.org.