TOPEKA, Kan. -- A Kansas board has approved a 92-year-old woman's voter registration after she and her daughter presented copies of census records and a page from a battered family Bible to show that she is a U.S. citizen.
Evelyn Howard, of Shawnee, went before the State Election Board because she has no birth certificate. Daughter Marilyn Hopkins said her mother was born in a midwife's home in northern Minnesota in February 1922.
CBS affiliate KCTV reports that the family Bible had her father's nearly 100-year-old notes recording Howard's birth and that of her siblings. Her mother noted on a page in the Bible when and where her children were born. The Bible had recently been sold in an estate sale. Luckily the buyer contacted Hopkins to give it back to her.
Kansas requires new voters to provide a birth certificate, passport or other proof of citizenship when registering. Howard moved to Kansas from Missouri in 2013 and lives in an assisted living center. She sought to register as a Republican earlier this month.
The proof-of-citizenship law allows prospective voters to appeal to the three-member Election Board, and Howard's is the third case it has considered since the law took effect last year.
The board's decision in Howard's favor was unanimous.
Howard says she has voted in 18 presidential elections. She told KCTV that she considers it a privilege to vote and something she expects to do. She said you can't effect change if you don't vote.
"It's an obligation. We're citizens of the United States," she said. "We should do our best for our country."
The board is comprised of Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who pushed for the law's enactment to combat election fraud. As of Wednesday, nearly 20,000 registrations remained on hold because the prospective voters haven't met the citizenship requirement.