Kansas secretary of state prints wrong information on Spanish voter guides

Vote (KSN File Photo)

Tonight we know that the state put out incorrect information in voting guidelines, but the details were only wrong on Spanish pamphlets.

KSN talked to the Kansas secretary of state’s office and was told, the office updated all their forms in 2011.

But two mistakes were left on the Spanish version.

It’s those differences that could have prevented some Spanish-speaking voters from knowing what they needed to go to the polls.

“With this quote-on-quote mistake that they supposedly made, you know, they really have the potential to disenfranchise the Hispanic community,” said Djuan Wash, the director of communications for Sunflower Community Action.

Tonight we know that the state put out incorrect information in voting guidelines, but the details were only wrong on Spanish pamphlets.

KSN talked to the Kansas secretary of state’s office and was told, the office updated all their forms in 2011.

But two mistakes were left on the Spanish version.

It’s those differences that could have prevented some Spanish-speaking voters from knowing what they needed to go to the polls.

“With this quote-on-quote mistake that they supposedly made, you know, they really have the potential to disenfranchise the Hispanic community,” said Djuan Wash, the director of communications for Sunflower Community Action.

That mistake?

In 2011 the law changed from requiring 15 days to register before an election to 21.

But the Spanish version remained the same.

The English voter guidelines both online and on paper are printed saying voters must register 21 days before an election.

On the Spanish version it said 15.

The Spanish-speaking version also omitted the fact that passports can be used as an acceptable form of identification.

“Obviously it’s very important that people understand that the voter registration deadline is 21 days prior to the election,” said Tabitha Lehman, the Sedgwick County election commissioner. “If they wait later than that then our office will not be able to accept their registration card.”

KSN reached out to the secretary of state, Kris Kobach’s office for comment.

In an emailed statement, his office said: “The discrepancy on the guide to voting in Kansas was a result of simple human error. We corrected the errors as soon as we were made aware of it and believe the mistake has had zero effect on voters in Kansas.”

“For it to be human error wouldn’t you have to read the English version to put the Spanish version together?” Wash said.

Wash doesn’t see this as human error.

“It is what it is and the fact of the matter is that the secretary of state’s office should have known better,” Wash said.

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