Report Says Turnout Dipped in Kansas & Tenn.., Bot States With Strict Voter ID Laws
October 8, 2014

(AP) – States that toughened their voter identification laws saw steeper drops in election turnout than those that did not, with disproportionate falloffs among black and younger voters, a nonpartisan congressional study released Wednesday concluded.

As of June, 33 states have enacted laws obligating voters to show a photo ID at the polls, the study said. Republicans who have pushed the legislation say the requirement will reduce fraud, but Democrats insist the laws are a GOP effort to reduce Democratic turnout on Election Day.

The report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative agency, was released less than a month from elections that will determine which party controls Congress.

The office compared election turnout in Kansas and Tennessee – which tightened voter ID requirements between the 2008 and 2012 elections – to voting in four states that didn’t change their identification requirements.

It estimated that reductions in voter turnout were about 2 percent greater in Kansas and from 2 to 3 percent steeper in Tennessee than they were in the other states examined. The four other states, which did not make their voter ID laws stricter, were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, and Maine.

“GAO’s analysis suggests that the turnout decreases in Kansas and Tennessee beyond decreases in the comparison states were attributable to changes in those two states’ voter ID requirements,” the report said.

The study cautioned that the results from Kansas and Tennessee don’t necessarily apply to other states with stricter ID laws. It also found that of 10 other studies that mostly focused on voting before 2008, five found no significant impact from voter ID laws, four found decreases and one found an increase.

The report said that in Kansas and Tennessee, reduced voter turnout was sharper among people aged 18 to 23 than among those from 44 to 53. The drop was also more pronounced among blacks than whites, Hispanics or Asians and was greater among newly registered voters than those registered at least 20 years.

GAO Denies EPA Move Challenge
July 25, 2011

The Kansas City Business Journal reports the General Accounting Office investigation of the proposed move of the Environmental protection Agency region 7 headquarters from Kansas City, Kansas, is upholding the move. 

The Government Accountability Office denies both parts of a formal protest aimed at keeping the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 headquarters and its more than 600 employees in Kansas City, Kan.

The Government Accountability Office has denied both parts of a formal protest aimed at keeping the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 headquarters and its more than 600 employees in Kansas City, Kan.

UrbanAmerica LLC, which owns the current EPA headquarters at 901 N. Fifth St. in downtown Kansas City, Kan., filed an initial protest in April after the General Services Administration announced that the EPA would move its regional headquarters to Lenexa.

The protest claimed that the GSA, which handles leasing for the federal government, failed to comply with executive orders requiring that federal buildings be located near urban centers.

In a Friday ruling, the GAO denied the current landlord’s protest that the GSA failed to comply with executive orders as “untimely,” according to an EPA memo circulated to employees and obtained by the Kansas City Business Journal.

“GSA’s evaluation and selection decision were upheld because the record shows that both the evaluation and resulting selection decision were reasonable and consistent with the solicitation’s evaluation factors,” the internal email said.

GSA spokeswoman Angela Brees said the agency welcomed the review process and was pleased with the ruling.

Monday afternoon, Unified Government Mayor Joe reardon  repeated the local government’s prime objection.

“The General Accounting Office ruling against Urban America is disappointing. The fact that two Presidential Executive Orders were violated should have been enough reason to rule in favor of Urban America,” readon said in a statement.

“In any lease decision, we have to determine how to best satisfy the needs of our clients while also protecting the interests of the American taxpayer,” she wrote in an email response. “And the decision in April represented the best value for the taxpayers and scored the highest on GSA’s technical criteria.”

However, the dispute isn’t over.

Last week, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., filed suit against the GSA, alleging that the GSA violated two Presidential Executive Orders when it decided to move the EPA to the suburban site.