As I detail in Salon, [It isn’t just voting rights groups that are behind the new wave of voter identification drives. Elected officials are getting in on the effort as well. One such leader is Douglas County (Kansas) clerk Jamie Shew, a Democrat in charge of elections in the Lawrence area. Because the wait at the DMV can take hours and many people aren’t even able to get there in the first place, Shew set out to find a way to make it easier for his constituents to comply with the new law. “I don’t want voter ID to be an impediment to them voting,” Shew told Salon.
His solution: Instead of bringing people to the ID agencies, bring ID agencies to the people. Beginning last month, Shew and others in his office began traveling, digital camera in hand, to places where many people lack driver’s licenses, such as nursing homes and disability groups. For folks who can’t get to the DMV, Shew snaps their picture, takes down their information, and then prints their voter ID card back in the office before hand-delivering or mailing it to the voter. Douglas County is the first in Kansas to undertake an effort of this kind, but Shew was pleased with the results — “we average a one-day turnaround for each ID” — and it could soon serve as a model for the rest of the state.]