Archive for Thursday, December 27, 2007

Democrats accuse GOP of vote ‘caging’

Republicans deny making list of voters to challenge

December 27, 2007


— Kansas Democrats are accusing the state Republican Party of trying to put together a list of voters to challenge on Election Day. Republican officials deny the accusation.

In an e-mail message sent to state Republicans, Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kris Kobach reviewed the party's accomplishments this year.

In the message, he states: "To date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years."

Mike Gaughan, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, said, "Vote caging is a pretty direct form of voter suppression."

One form of vote caging is when a political party sends registered mail to an address of a registered voter. If the mail is returned as undeliverable, the voter will be challenged by the party as having a fraudulent voter registration. In the past, there have been reported incidents of caging lists targeting predominantly minority districts that tend to vote for Democrats.

Gaughan noted that the Republican Party has said it will make a major effort to try to win back the 2nd Congressional District, which includes western Lawrence. U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, a Democrat, won that seat last year by defeating a five-term incumbent Republican, Jim Ryun.

But Christian Morgan, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, denied the party was doing what Gaughan described.

"It's just a term of art," Morgan said of caging voters.

He said what the party has done is try to identify voters and their views on certain issues.

"We cage that person's information," he said.

Then when the election comes around, the GOP will try to contact those voters who agree with the Republican candidate's position, and, it is hoped, get them to vote for that candidate, he said.

He denied the state party was building up a list of voters to challenge during elections.

"We're amassing this information to get people to the polls," he said.

Brad Bryant, state election director for the Kansas Secretary of State's office, said he had never heard of a voter suppression effort in Kansas using registered mail to put together a challenge list.

Bryant said the only people who can challenge a voter's right to vote at the polls are poll workers.

A person whose right to vote is challenged can cast a provisional ballot. After the election, county officials decide whether the ballot should be counted.

Bryant said most provisional ballots eventually are counted in the totals.


Kevin Sontag 10 years, 6 months ago

Republicans are mostly as bad as hippies.


Paul R Getto 10 years, 6 months ago

Vote suppression is one of the pillars of the Republican game plan. The lower the turnout, the better they like it. They cooked Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004; the recent discussions about computer voting machines may throw a kink in their plans; we shall see.

Ragingbear 10 years, 6 months ago

Most likely they will do things like send buses into poor neighborhoods to vote, and deliberately take them to the wrong voting district and force them to walk home. That was one of many stunts pulled in Florida '00

pace 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't think you can get more panicky than running the sanctimonious DIDNOTHING Ryun as a candidate. Ask the vet's how he supported the troops?

Flap Doodle 10 years, 6 months ago

In other (slightly older news): "MILWAUKEE (AP) - The sons of a first-term congresswoman and Milwaukee's former acting mayor were among five Democratic activists charged Monday with slashing the tires of vans rented by Republicans to drive voters and monitors to the polls on Election Day. Sowande Omokunde, son of Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., and Michael Pratt, the son of former Milwaukee acting mayor Marvin Pratt, were among those charged with criminal damage to property, a felony that carries a maximum punishment of 3½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The activists are accused of flattening the tires on 25 vehicles rented by the state Republican Party to get out the vote and deliver poll watchers Nov. 2.

Also charged were Lewis Caldwell and Lavelle Mohammad, both from Milwaukee, and Justin Howell of Racine. "

coldandhot 10 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for another biased article from Rothschild. Do we ever hear any accusatory articles from Mr. Scotty about Democrats? NO! Its because he is a Democrat and he disapproves of anything or anyone conservative.

dirkleisure 10 years, 6 months ago

So the argument here is 1) Democrats in other states have been accused of voter suppression, so it is OK for the KS GOP to do it; and 2) This reporter only picks on Republicans, so it is OK for the KS GOP to utilize a voter suppression tactic.

Those are both very convincing arguments. What a lovely way to defend your party.

I find it interesting that Christian Morgan is lying about what vote caging is. His ridiculous explanation of his personal definition of caging makes for one of the funniest quote of 2007. Makes you wonder what else Christian Morgan is lying about.

dirkleisure 10 years, 6 months ago

Trouble is, they aren't looking for actual invalid voters. They are attempting to create invalid voters.

Here's how:

The KS GOP sends me a letter via registered mail.

I refuse the letter, because anything from Christian Morgan and Kris Kobach is guaranteed to be full of lies.

My refusal is used by the KS GOP as grounds that I am not actually living at that address.

I show up to vote, a KS GOP poll worker challenges my right to vote. I am now told to either cast a provisional ballot or go home.

Because my right to cast a legitimate vote has been questioned by an illegitimate tactic, this is a form of voter suppression.

Now, you will argue that in order to protect the sanctity of voting, people like me must suffer. That is because you are pro-voter suppression, and I really can't figure out how you sleep at night.

Scott Tichenor 10 years, 6 months ago

As long as "the siren" Kobach is at the helm of the Republican party of Kansas, Dems can rest easy. He thinks he's a Karl Rove, he's not. Just as crooked, but not as smart.

TheOriginalCA 10 years, 6 months ago

Made_in_China (Anonymous) says:

"Vote suppression is one of the pillars of the Republican game plan. The lower the turnout, the better they like it. They cooked Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004; the recent discussions about computer voting machines may throw a kink in their plans; we shall see."

So in other words, when your team loses, it is the ref's faults.

dirkleisure 10 years, 6 months ago

OK - so it can be established that Bowhunter99 is eager to suppress votes.

What Bowhunter99 is saying is true, and is a false argument in favor of vote caging and suppressing the votes of people who have actually completed exactly the process Bowhunter99 lays out.

Too bad Bowhunter99 prefers to argue over the bogeyman and the false pretenses of a vote caging campaign. It is also too bad that the tactic is apparently something Bowhunter99 finds to be agreeable.

Thanks for supporting the destruction of the democratic process!

Sparko 10 years, 6 months ago

Having admitted a crime, now comes the spin. Listen, this was an illegal practice. I am pretty tired of the GOP these days.

dagopman 10 years, 6 months ago

I am continually amazed that some continue to say that the books were cooked in Florida during the Bush-Gore election. I have a relative that teaches fourth grade. She obtained copies of the so-called confusing Florida butterfly ballot and asked her 30 students to vote for their candidate. 29 of the 30 children correctly identified the box of their candidate. The only child who didn't was a special needs student. If fourth grade students could navigate the ballot, Florida voters should have been expected to do the same.

jumpin_catfish 10 years, 6 months ago

Do any of you really think one party is that much better than the other? Elect people who will represent their district not their party's power interest but sadly we know that will not happen. The big parties and the special interest have silenced common sense. Let's get this election over with so we can start the next election cycle so politicians can make all the news about themselves. I'm sick of them all!

LiberalDude 10 years, 6 months ago

The Republicans are getting desparate. Here's to another Boyda victory!

Patrick Wilbur 10 years, 6 months ago

An addendum to the article - the KSDP website implies that the GOP efforts were "illegal." If this is true the AG or local officials should bring charges, correct? If it is not illegal then both parties are playing fast and loose with their language. Imagine that.

Patrick Wilbur 10 years, 6 months ago

How about a party that actually DOES want to reduce the influence of gov't w/o forcing its narrow-minded morality code down your throat?

63BC 10 years, 6 months ago

Under the Help America Vote Act, anybody who presents themselves can cast a provisional ballot. Absolutely no one will be denied a chance to cast a ballot. If there's a dispute, the county has a week to figure out if it's an eligible voter.

As for all the Florida accusations, is there any proof or documentation of this? Please provide links.

dagopman 10 years, 6 months ago

The point of my previous post wasn't questioning the counting practices of Florida voter officials; rather, it was questioning those Florida voters that later tried to claim that they couldn't understand the ballot and therefore may not have voted for the candidate of their choice.

dirkleisure 10 years, 6 months ago

You get 'em boys.

Hey, who cares what the KS GOP is doing, look over here! Hey, how about I make this all about me?!?! ACORN! Fried Squirrels!

Oh, wait, that's Huckabee who fries squirrels. Never mind.

Funny how you can defend this abhorrent practice. You know, funny in the sad funny way, like Sam Brownback.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 6 months ago

Want some fun? Google: ACORN "voter registration fraud" .

toefungus 10 years, 6 months ago

Democrats are good pointers but poor guide dogs.

dirkleisure 10 years, 6 months ago


Want to see that this reprehensible tactic being propagated by the KS GOP is fine and dandy? Google ACORN. That makes it all better.

Go fry a squirrel. To learn the real story, Google ACORN Todd Graves. Graves was fired for not playing along with the nut jobs like r_t and snap crackle pop. Of course, that makes him a RINO, right? Or a Grendel?

dagopman 10 years, 6 months ago

If people are required to provide proof of identity to acquire a passport, drivers license, auto insurance, etc., they should be required to provide proof of identity to vote.

Please, someone, explain to me why this is a bad thing.

dirkleisure 10 years, 6 months ago

Yes, paranoia.

The GOP argument: "Nothing to see here. Move along."

dagopman 10 years, 6 months ago


Thank you for the post. I appreciate it.

situveux1 10 years, 6 months ago

Yes, you caught them, sending out a mass email to the entire state admitting to fraud. The only thing more idiotic than someone doing that is the Democrats believing that's what happened.

Can you say Democrats trying to divert attention from the Morrison scandal? I can.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 6 months ago

It should come as no surprise that the GOP wants to keep voter participation low.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 6 months ago

Once Phil Klines name begins to surface the Morrison love affair will become a fairy tale compared to what level Kline may or may not be involved.

Arrogant neocons have been caught and it is in writing. Pleading ignorance to voter caging will not fly cuz the crooks are not stupid.

staff04 10 years, 6 months ago

I note some accusing Rothschild of bias.

If I were editing this story, it would read "GOP admits to vote 'caging.'"

I think Rothschild took it easy on you a-holes.

Patrick Wilbur 10 years, 6 months ago

Wow - there really is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Even the juvenile rhetoric is the same - just like the results.

jasonc_22 10 years, 6 months ago

why do Republicans always go instantly to "but Democrats do it too!" whenever they get caught doing something bad?

Voter suppression is bad when every either party does it...but it isn't the Kansas Democratic Party that is suppressing voters, it's the Kansas Republican Party.

Shall we talked about the reality of the situation, rather than trying to make it something different?

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