FEW FOREIGNERS WANT PAPERS. ~ It's Harder to Become a Voter Now Than It Used to Be.

March 6, 1908

It's Harder to Become a Voter Now
Than It Used to Be.

For the first time since Kansas City has been a political center, the approach of an election is not causing a riffle in the naturalization offices. Ordinarily at this time there would be from one to a score of foreigners naturalized every day, and so many of them sometimes that the naturalizing officer would have to hold court at night, but on the wall of the clerk of the United States district court there is a little slip of paper pasted, on it being the names of only seven persons. These are of two Germans, two Russians, an Italian, Irishman, and Roumanian, being all that are now taking out their final papers. The list of applicants for first papers has only twelve names on it, though it covers the work of a month.

"And they do not take kindly to it," said the clerk of the district court. "So many of them are disgusted when they find they cannot vote at the next election, nor even at the next presidential election."

There is no national law relating to the qualifications for voting. The laws of the various states are accepted by the United States. In Missouri first papers must be a year old before they are votable. Kansas is kinder to the foreigner and he can vote there sooner.

The new naturalization law bristles with bayonets for the foreigner who takes out papers for anything but the highest possible motives, and while it would be possible for him to take them out in Kansas City now and, by moving across to Kansas City, Kas., vote there for the next president, if the naturalization officer suspected a trick in this there would be trouble right off for the foreigner. He would be sure to have his papers cancelled and himself barred from taking the out again, and he might land in a federal prison."