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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Proposal would require photo I.D. to vote

Committee chairman says measure will ‘enhance integrity’ of process

January 15, 2007

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— The chairman of a committee that deals with election law has proposed a measure that would require voters to provide photo identification before their ballot would count.

"I am certain these integrity measures will enhance the confidence of the citizens of Kansas in our election process," state Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, said.

Huelskamp said he has heard from dozens of Kansans who are concerned that people who aren't allowed to vote, including illegal immigrants, are casting ballots.

Huelskamp, who is chairman of the Senate Elections and Local Government Committee, said he suspects illegal immigrants are voting, but added he has no proof that they are.

"There is no way of knowing until you run a system check," he said.

His proposal would require all voters to provide photo identification prior to their ballot being counted.

The measure also would require new voters to provide photo ID before registering. The secretary of state also would be allowed to participate in a national program to verify citizenship of voters.

Under the proposal, if a voter did not have a photo ID, he or she could cast a provisional ballot, and the local canvassing board would determine later if the ballot was valid.

Voter ID laws have been adopted in an increasing number of states, but have run into numerous legal challenges.

Many groups say there is no evidence of significant voter fraud to warrant the measures and that they produce a burden on those who don't have a photo ID.

Huelskamp's measure has a list of acceptable photo identification including driver's license, employment badge, credit card, neighborhood association, retirement center, school, military, buyer's club, passport, public assistance or from the state revenue department.

Opponents of ID laws also say they produce delays at the polls that further reduce voter participation.

A record low turnout of 18.2 percent of registered voters in the August primaries in Kansas startled state officials. Douglas County was the third lowest in the state at 12.2 percent.

Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, and a member of the Elections Committee, said Monday that she wants to hear Huelskamp's proposal but said the Legislature should move carefully on the matter.

"We're looking for a balance between access to the polls and security," Francisco said. "We'd like as many people to vote as possible."

Francisco said she has worked as a poll worker for 20 years - except when she is on the ballot - and has never run into a problem of a person trying to vote illegally.

"I hope we talk about what are the problems people are experiencing and then try to make changes to help us solve those problems," she said.

Francisco said with the increased use of advanced voting and mail-in ballots, there are many issues to consider.

State law already requires inactive or first-time voters in a county to provide some form of identification.

Comments

Bruce Bertsch 7 years, 7 months ago

A solution seeking a problem that doesn't exist.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 7 months ago

This is a commonsense bill which is LONG overdue. It's a no-brainer for every member of the Kansas House and Senate to get firmly behind.

Legislation like this will help end voting by children, pets and dead people that we read about every two years. It will also stop some precincts from having more votes cast than registered voters.

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oldgoof 7 years, 7 months ago

oh good lord settingtherecord, give us a single example of more votes cast than registered voters in any Kansas election.

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shirinisb 7 years, 7 months ago

As the wife of a legal immigrant (who can't vote because he is a perm resident) I think it's good to protect the system that way. It's only common sense.

If an 18 year old citizen doesn't have a legal I.D. they've probably got bigger issues than not being able to vote.

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fletch 7 years, 7 months ago

This would effectively put an end to door-to-door registrations or registration drives, not to mention making things a nightmare at the polls. Didn't anybody learn from the Florida and Ohio debacles: making things hellish at the polls is a BAD idea.

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Bruce Bertsch 7 years, 7 months ago

This is not commonsense, it is a duplication of effort to avoid a problem that simply doesn't exist. We already have to show identification to register. Bills like this are meant to scare the gullible into thinking that we have hoards of illegal immigrants voting in elections, which is simply not the case. It is an insult to every registered voter and every election commissioner in Kansas.

Besides, it is likely as unconstitutional as a poll tax.

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KS 7 years, 7 months ago

I went to a trade show one time and had to show either a drivers license or passport to get into the gate (even tho I had bought a ticket) I have to show a photo ID to check into a no-tell motel or get on a plane. Why not to vote? Makes sense. That's the world we live in today.

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javery 7 years, 7 months ago

Sorry to disagree with you moderationman, but it seems like a very sensible precaution. It can help prevent voter fraud (and regardless of whether it is or is not a problem at the moment, it is at least a reasonable precaution). It's not terribly excessive (considering that you have to show photo ID if you want to get on a plane), and it's not likely to cause that much trouble for poll workers (if TSA people, bartenders, tobacco vendors, etc. can do it, so can poll workers).

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conservative 7 years, 7 months ago

The ease with which a person can obtain a photo ID makes the argument that it is restrictive to the poor utter nonsense.

The only thing this bill would do to infringe upon voting rights would be to make it much more difficult to "Vote early, and vote often".

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Bone777 7 years, 7 months ago

Does this rule have "Da" written all over it. What's the big deal about showing an I.D. This is totally a no brainer.

You have to show identification when you write a check, register for classes, use a credit card.

It is just a way to ensure that no one is misusing our systems.

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KS 7 years, 7 months ago

Bone 777 - Da! Way to go. I agree.

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commuter 7 years, 7 months ago

I could go to the polls and say I am my neighbor and vote. Then I could go later and say I am myself. All the bill does is let people with ID's vote.

If a low income person does have ID, they can get a state issued ID. Heck, to get Section 8 assistance, they must have ID and Social Security Card.

What is the big deal to have the ID to vote.

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Bruce Bertsch 7 years, 7 months ago

You folks have missed the point. You showed ID when you registered. You cannot register without it. To show again when voting is nothing more than "Big Brother" trying to exert influence. Let's not overlook the real reason...fear of the immigrant. In California, a candidate actually used phone messages to tell naturalized citizens that they had no right to vote and would be arrested.

This is not common sense, it is the first step on the slippery slope to Nation Id Cards and patches on your coat for identity. However, as I wrote earlier, nearly every voter id law has been found unconstitutional.

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shirinisb 7 years, 7 months ago

Logicsound-

I disagree, that is creating a lot of hussle and bussle. An ID is verified on site whereas double signatures will create more work for everyone. First they would have to be entered into a database, then they would have to be divided by precinct...then you would have to train poll workers to verify signatures, etc. etc. Most poll workers are elderly, and they're already working an entire day with no break.

Kudos for trying to come up with a better solution, however I think the I.D. is going to be the quickest, and easiest based on the situation.

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Bone777 7 years, 7 months ago

logicsound04 - your are right. Some places are lax with the requirement to show an I.D.

My wife got her purse stolen and numerous businesses didn't check the thief's ID when making transactions. The final tally that businesses were defrauded was over $7000.

Thanks for making my point.

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commuter 7 years, 7 months ago

I personally do not have a problem requiring having an ID to cast your ballot. What is the big deal?

I am sorry, I have to show id for so many other things, why can't I show ID to cast my ballot? I have to show ID to buy cigarettes, alsohol, to go to a club or to board a plane. If requiring an ID is unconstitutional, why aren't all of those other things requiring ID also unconstitutional?

I guess some people just want any to vote for you instead of you.

PYwacket, I totally agree with you. I want MY vote to be counted, not someone to vote for me.

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KS 7 years, 7 months ago

Good grief. And who is going to compare the signature of the good doctor? I try to use good penmanship, but sometimes I can't even read my own. How is a voter judge supposed to know? Frankly I see the signature deal the same as a photo ID, except the photo ID is easier to check.

Logicsound04, review what you just posted, especially to commuter, #1 and #2, I think you have that backwards! No?

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commuter 7 years, 7 months ago

Could someone give me an example of state making this a requirement and then the courts ruling it is unconstitutional? Besdies California because the Cal. Appellate courts have been overruled by the US Supreme Court more than any of Appellate courts in the nation.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

Press release from Sept of last year--

Court's Order Forces Department of Revenue to Suspend Photo ID Work

    JEFFERSON CITY  The Missouri Department of Revenue is suspending its implementation of the Missouri Voter Protection Act, as required by Thursday's Court Order issued by the Cole County Circuit Court.  Effective on Monday, non-driver licenses for voting purposes will cost $11 at contract offices, and the Department is temporarily suspending mobile unit visits to nursing homes, senior centers, and other facilities.

    Director Trish Vincent has contacted the Attorney General, requesting that the Court amend its Judgment to permit free non-driver licenses for voting purposes and mobile unit visits pending appeal.  Should that occur, the Department is ready to immediately restart mobile visits and issue non-driver licenses for voting purposes at no cost.

    "I am disappointed that the Court's Order is so broad that it enjoins 'all employees' of the state -- including Revenue's -- from implementing this good law," said Director Trish Vincent.  "We have citizens eagerly awaiting mobile unit visits who will be disappointed and inconvenienced.  I hope we will soon be permitted to continue our important work pending appeal."

    Before the Court's Order, the Department had issued 2,074 free non-driver licenses for voting purposes.  Sixty-six confirmed visits to nursing homes and other facilities are on hold due to the Court's Order.
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yourworstnightmare 7 years, 7 months ago

An ID does not go far enough. They are too easy to obtain and to fake. I mean, any idiot can get an ID.

Better would be a requirement that citizens pass an educational aptitude test AT THE POLLS before being allowed to vote. The test should cover things like civics, literature, science, and reasoning skills. In this age, many issues upon which people vote are complex and deal with ethics, science, and political structures. I mean, we make people take a test before they can drive a car. Why not require passage of a test to vote? It's just common sense.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"Besides, it is likely as unconstitutional as a poll tax."

No, I don't think so.

Poll taxes were struck down as diminishing a core right (the right to vote) without a corresponding benefit ("no reasonable relationship"). You can find it here: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=383&invol=663

In stark contrast, an initiative such as this does have a corresponding - and indeed equal - benefit: to ensure that others' core rights (the right to vote) are also not diminished. I suspect any state with a 'program' to pay for IDs for the poor will pass muster.

It also seems obvious that predictions of "chaos" are fairly silly.

Unfortunately, showing an ID at voter registration in no way verifies, checks, or has any other matching ability that verifies that a person receiving a ballot is indeed the same registered voter.

All that said, I believe this concern - at least within Kansas - is a distraction. Significant amounts of voter fraud have been identified in various elections (apparently death only slightly diminishes voter turnout in some states) but I cannot recall any in Kansas.

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KS 7 years, 7 months ago

yourworstnightmare - I agree! Unfortunately they don't want to teach that stuff in schools today. They do the 3D approach. Keep them dumb, dependent and democrat! :)) Reasoning skills is called "LOGIC" When was the last time you saw that taught in public schools? Good grief, make a kid "think"? Unheard of! Might offend someone.

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james bush 7 years, 7 months ago

Put it to a vote. The sooner the better. I want to see who is against photo ID requirements for voting.

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 7 months ago

You wanna fly in a commercial airplane ... you need ID.

You want to go and see a court case ... you need an ID.

You want to cash a check ..... you need an ID.

You wanna buy a beer .... you need an ID.

You want to open a bank account .... you need an ID.

You want to enroll in college ... you need an ID.

WHY THE HELL WOULD VOTING NOT NEED AN ID??!!!?>?!

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 7 months ago

"(a) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision."

Other than proving that you are over 18, and a LEGAL resident of the State of Kansas. You did not post the whole law, just the part that agreed with your argument. YOu gotta post the WHOLE TEST of the law. But that would show it is OK to have ID, doesn't it?

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Jackalope 7 years, 7 months ago

The case to watch is out of Arizona which was on before the United States Supreme Court last fall regarding the issuance of a restraining order or temporary injunction against the state required use of voter identification cards.

The Supreme Court of the United States in Purcell v. Gonzalez, 127 S.Ct. 5, 8 (U.S.,2006) ruled that: "We underscore that we express no opinion here on the correct disposition, after full briefing and argument, of the appeals from the District Court's September 11 order or on the ultimate resolution of these cases. As we have noted, the facts in these cases are hotly contested, and "[n]o bright line separates permissible election-related regulation from unconstitutional infringements." Timmons v. Twin Cities Area New Party, 520 U.S. 351, 359, 117 S.Ct. 1364, 137 L.Ed.2d 589 (1997). Given the imminence of the election and the inadequate time to resolve the factual disputes, our action today shall of necessity allow the election to proceed without an injunction suspending the voter identification rules."

The matter was then remanded to the U.S. District Court for further proceedings. I expect it will be back before the Supreme Court anon.

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 7 months ago

"However, the basic jist of the law, that you cannot make any requirements to vote other than being a legal citizen of the U.S. and of voting age."

Yes and LOGIC would dictate that that would be proven by use of an ID, you are a DA!!

"Identification currently IS required to vote--it's called registration."

IDIOT, that is why ACORN is in trouble in St. Louis and KC, for voter fraud. They did not use ID's to get the registrations done. You are clueless there "logic" and seem to possess none.

Read things BEFORE you post there logic, you look and sound like a raving lunatic.

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MississippiFrog 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't think that showing an id to vote is such a bad thing but, on the other hand, I do think there should be a way for the poor and elderly to obtain a free id for voting purposes.

I can remember the first time I voted in KS I had to show an ID. My first time voting in MS all they did was check my name off the list.

The local legislature in MS is attempting to pass the id law as well. I doubt it would pass here as there are still too many folks who struggle to read and write. I know you are probably going to blast me for stereotying MS but I can't tell you the number of clients I have who have to sign their name by marking an X.

I loved the posts about having to take a test to vote. Have you seen Leno when he asks civil questions on the street? Hardly anyone knows the answers to the simple grade school questions.

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yourworstnightmare 7 years, 7 months ago

Having an aptitude test would achieve what many here want: to prohibit voting by illegal immigrants. It would also prevent voting by ignorant and stupid Americans, a nice bonus.

Using JA's logic, the benefit to society of this measure would far outweigh its possibility of disenfranchisement. And besides, everyone would have a chance to vote.

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youngitized 7 years, 7 months ago

This is ridiculous and shameful. Quite frankly, all of you who are calling for this measure really disgust me! A senior citizen who doesn't drive and has no driver's license equals bad idea and talk about driving people away from voting. This is a bad idea and I hope if it passes the Senate and the House that Sebelius vetoes it.

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 7 months ago

Requirements for a KS drivers license and ID card. Unless of course you are an illegal alien and you can forge as many as you want.

http://www.ksrevenue.org/dmvproof.htm

Senior Citizen's have to provide some type of ID to collect and cash thwir SS benefits and medicaid assistance. You are an idiot if you believe that as youngitized believes that the senior citizens do not have ID and cannot afford it. You can bet that if the poor or the seniors needed and ID to get their benefits, they will cough off up the $12.50 to get a Kansas ID.

This is NOT ABOUT DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY FROM VOTING!!!

THIS IS ABOUT PEOPLE THAT SHOULD NOT VOTE AND KEEPING THEM FROM VIOLATING A LEGAL VOTERS RIGHT TO CAST BALLOTS LEGALLY!!

What is wrong with you idiots????

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yourworstnightmare 7 years, 7 months ago

It would be easy. There could be a computer terminal on which questions would be answered. If you scored well, the machine would give access to a ballot. If not, you would leave without voting. This way, the poll worker would not be required to make judgement calls.

Pass or fail. That simple. And maybe, people would study for the pre-vote exam, raising the education level of the public.

Let's start with right_thinker:

R_T, what government position is 4th in line behind the president for the presidency? (no cheating, no googling, textooks, etc.) This is on your knowledge and on your honor.

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yourworstnightmare 7 years, 7 months ago

vice, speaker, pro-tempore, state. Condi is the 4th. A bit more appropriate for MLK day.

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buffalo_star 7 years, 7 months ago

The right to vote or vote count integrity, I say both. It's government's job to make both happen at each and every election. Seems simple but special interests and political agendas always cloud a clear sky.

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budwhysir 7 years, 7 months ago

I think the problem is more one of keeping track of and accuratly counting votes. I have not heard of or read anything about people stealing votes or making a vote for me.

What if elections where held weekly so we could change our mind based on the job being done the way it is supposed to be. Anyone can make a promise and sweep it under the rug over a 4 year period.

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ASBESTOS 7 years, 7 months ago

"I am unfamiliar with that case, but based on your substance-less description of the situation, Acorn's problems seem to be with REGISTRATION--not identification at the polls. So thanks for illustrating my point."

That has to be your most clueless and dense post EVER!!! How the HELL does it illustrate your point when you are not even familiar with the case??? DUH!! ACORN registered perple twice and those that were dead and illegal aliens. HOW did they do this when an ID is required to register???? YOur point is NOT made. IF you register with an ID and then VOTE with prof of that ID it is corssed off the list and there is no doubling up, or dead people or illegal aliens voting!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Pywhacket NAILED the issue here:

"(1) if you showed ID when you registered, there goes all the other bleating whines about this law being "unfair" to those who "don't have ID." If they DIDN'T have ID, they couldn't have registered in the first place, so voting is really not an issue, is it?"

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Danielle Brunin 7 years, 7 months ago

ID or no ID, I don't really care, but I find it amusing that people are freaking out about illegal immigrants fraudulently voting. We can't even get our own American electorate to show up to the polls, and it is their right as Americans. I seriously doubt that any significant number of illegal immigrants will go through the hassle and the lines to commit voter fraud. They're probably just like all the other people who don't vote in elections. They sit home on the couch eating potato chips and then complain about how much the government sucks.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 7 months ago

As any underage partier knows, fake IDs are easily acquired, so exactly how would showing a photo ID make voting any more secure? How could they be sure the ID shown to them was real or fake? Are they going to be trained to know the difference? I kind of doubt it. And some of the fake IDs floating around are really sophisticated fakes, and even some experts can't tell the difference.

But you expect poll workers, who are volunteers, to be able to tell?

Somebody mentioned making people sign something when they go to vote...I don't know about the rest of you, but here in Franklin Co., I already have to sign the registration book EVERY time I go to vote.

Why don't we slow up the voting process even more? Why don't they require fingerprints, or a sample of DNA, and then we can all wait weeks and weeks while the experts do all the tests necessary to verify everyone's vote?

If you open this can of worms, it won't stop with requiring photo ID.

The percentage of registered voters that actually go out and vote is abysmal anyway. Do you really think hordes of people are going out and casting illegal votes?? If so, where are they? Why isn't it reflected in the totals?

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BigAl 7 years, 7 months ago

Posted by oldgoof (anonymous) on January 15, 2007 at 1:57 p.m. (Suggest removal) oh good lord settingtherecord, give us a single example of more votes cast than registered voters in any Kansas election.


I agree. I'm not necessarily against showing ID but I do think, in Kansas, this is a lot of hoopla over nothing. Huelskamp himself is from a county of less than 5000 people. Just how much voter fraud has he seen?

Considering the remote chances of being damaged by voter fraud in Kansas, this should be a back burner issue, at best.

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Newell_Post 7 years, 7 months ago

In those immortal wrods: "Vote Early, Vote Often." This is often attributed to Chicago's Mayor Daley. However, the actual speaker was... (Scroll down) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Al Capone

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Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"R_T, what government position is 4th in line behind the president for the presidency? (no cheating, no googling, textooks, etc.) This is on your knowledge and on your honor."

See, this is why knowledge tests are a bad idea - this is a TRICK QUESTION.

There is a statute that purports to say that the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate succeed a vacant President/Vice President.

Not only is that a spectacularly bad idea, its probably unconstitutional. Article II of the Constitution specifies that Congress in such a circumstance is to choose what "officer" shall "act" as President.

An "officer" within this context is a member of the Executive Branch not the Legislative one. (Also, this person merely "acts" as President; he/she is in fact not the President and merely holds the powers until a new President is elected - by some mechanism and at some time never specified in the Constitution.)

So ... you can have a voting "test" but perhaps you should be prepared for an essay exam.

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