Opinion

Opinion

Voter fraud is a serious problem Kansas needs to address

August 22, 2010

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Voter fraud is a well-documented reality in Kansas.

My opponent’s claim that voter fraud is not a problem is incorrect. He is either woefully ignorant of what his own office reported prior to his arrival, or he is actively misrepresenting the facts.

In February 2008, the secretary of state’s office responded to Kansas legislators’ request for an accounting of voter fraud in the state. The secretary of state’s office documented that, during 1998-2008, voter fraud was reported in 11 Kansas counties. Some counties, including Johnson, Wyandotte, and Sedgwick County, witnessed multiple cases of voter fraud. In Wyandotte County alone, more than 50 cases of voter fraud were reported.

The vast majority of these cases were not investigated further or prosecuted.

More evidence came in 2009, when Sedgwick County provisional ballot judge Kathy Perry testified before the Kansas Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and described multiple forms of voter fraud that she personally witnessed at one polling place in Wichita in 2008.

Nothing was done to address the illegal voting activities that Perry reported.

We must also recognize that voter fraud is very difficult to detect, so the 60-plus cases that we know about are only the tip of the iceberg.

Voter fraud is perpetrated sometimes by individuals acting alone, sometimes by criminal organizations. ACORN, which submitted hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registration cards in the 2008 elections, has been investigated or prosecuted for crimes in 14 states, including Missouri.

ACORN was hard at work in Kansas during the 2008 elections, with three offices in our state. One reason that it’s so easy to commit election fraud in Kansas is that the crime is rarely punished. I am aware of only one case that has been prosecuted by the state since 2000.

If we continue to turn a blind eye to voter fraud, as my opponent does, it will only increase in the future. The time has come to stop voter fraud in Kansas. If I am elected secretary of state, protecting the integrity of our elections will be my top priority.

Preventing voter fraud is something that all Kansans can and do support. Fair elections protect every voter, every party, and every ideology equally.

More than that, fair elections protect the very fabric of our republic. Public confidence in the integrity of elections is at an all time low. In a 2008 poll, 62 percent of American voters thought voter fraud was very common or somewhat common. When voters fear that elections are being stolen through fraudulent activity, it erodes the legitimacy of our government.

We must act immediately to protect the integrity of our elections. I support requiring voters to present photo ID at the polls and requiring newly registered voters to prove their citizenship when they register. I will also restructure the prosecution of voter fraud, so that prosecutions actually occur. If we can present a photo ID to cash a check or board a plane, we can certainly present one to protect our most important privilege of citizenship. Those who oppose photo ID laws, like my opponent, often make the claim that it will inhibit voter participation. There is no evidence to support this argument. Possession of a photo ID has become a part of life in America.

That is why a Rasmussen poll on Thursday showed that 82 percent of Americans support photo ID laws. My opponent stands well outside of the mainstream of public opinion on this issue.

Voters have a clear choice in the election for secretary of state between someone who will take the reasonable steps necessary to prevent voter fraud, and someone who will continue to pretend that it does not exist.

— Kris W. Kobach is the Republican candidate for Kansas Secretary of State and a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Comments

Kendall Simmons 4 years, 11 months ago

Can we say "defunct ACORN"???

Can we also say that if "provisional ballot judge Kathy Perry [who] described multiple forms of voter fraud that she personally witnessed at one polling place in Wichita in 2008" had been doing her job, then all those ballot should have been marked as provisional and tossed out on the basis of what she claims she witnessed.

Personally I'd like Kobach to clarify what he meant by "Nothing was done to address the illegal voting activities that Perry reported".

If it means Perry didn't do her job and those votes were counted, then Kobach ought to tell us what he intends to do to keep the Perrys of the State from not being provisional ballot judges anymore.

If, on the other hand, she did do her job, then the votes did not count...so we legitimate voters were not harmed, and what he's really bitching about is that the people attempting to commit voter fraud weren't punished.

There's a big difference between 'voter fraud' and 'attempted voter fraud'.

And a big difference between catching those phony votes so they don't affect an election and wanting to spend countless taxpayer dollars on attempting to give the Secretary of State's office "more of a law enforcement role" [Kobach's own words] to go after 60+ phony voters.

I'd like a Secretary of State who understands this. Kobach, as shown by his failed chairmanship of the KS Republican Party, certainly isn't that person.

mysterion 4 years, 11 months ago

Kris, why don't you run for office in Nebraska instead?

pittstatebb 4 years, 11 months ago

Kris - I am writing an open letter to you, just as you have to me. I am a registered republican who has never voted for a democratic candidate before. While I have yet to decide whether I will leave the Sec. of State blank or vote for your opponent, I do know that I will not vote for you. Our state has severe financial problems and enacting laws that will land the state in federal court (and if past precedence is to be considered, we will probably lose that case) does not seem to be a good idea. Nor do I want to deal with the continuous media adds that the deep pockets of both sides will run if we have a voter initiative. And I personally believe that the last place an illegal wants to go is the voting poll. Common sense would say that if I have a chance of being caught, then I (the illegal) would not be there.

I know I am a cynic and I see the worst in you, but I believe extreme politics from either party is bad for our state. The only solace I have in your expected win is that hopefully you will have moved off of your stepping stone quickly enough to not have had any influence on our state. In fact, please run for a federal office as soon as you can as I think you can do far less damage in Congress than as Governor. I might even vote for you then (sarcasim).

Charlie Dominguez 4 years, 11 months ago

Amen Amen. It is far right politics designed to feedithe ignorant , such as Kobach, that had me switch from a life long registered Republican to the Democratic party. Even in his open letter, Kobach is not able to bring any substantial reasons for changes in KANSAS voter policies. Kris just needs to do consulting work and realize his "hate" politics is not working with Cheney out of office and in the hospital.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"I am a registered republican who has never voted for a democratic candidate before."

I like how you accuse Kobach of partisanship after making a statement like that.

I am a life-long registered Republican who votes for the best candidate to represent me, regardless of whether there's a "D", "R", or "I" next to their name.

pittstatebb 4 years, 11 months ago

notajayhawk - you are making an assumption about me that you have no knowledge about (my age). How are you to know whether I have voted in 1 election or 50 elections. Does my statement (which does not say I would never vote for a democrat/independent just that I have not yet) not imply that I am considering voting for Biggs and not say in how many elections I have voted in.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Maybe you could point to the part of my post where I said anything about your age or the number of elections you voted in? Who's making assumptions here?

You started your post by making the point that you had never voted for any candidate outside your party. Whether that's one election of 50, it's still partisanship.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 11 months ago

That's just how NAJ rolls...don't worry, though, yer not likely to lose an argument with NAJ.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Anyone else got the feeling that porch-(laughter)=puggy?

His posts are mindless enough to be the same guy, or a close relative.

Just out of curiosity, pugs, what would you know about an argument? You've never presented one on these message boards. Or do you still think you get debate points for repeating back the words of the post you're challenging, word for word, like a kindergartner?

whats_going_on 4 years, 11 months ago

yeah, notajayhawk, seems like you missed the point there. I didn't see anything wrong with what pittstatebb said. Sounds like he or she was being honest rather than partisan about it. Just saying :)

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

While it's possible pittstatebb is a first-time voter that has never voted for a democratic candidate before, the clear implication of his post is that while he never has before, he's willing to now because of Kobach's stand. If he's never voted for a Democrat because he's never voted, or only voted in a single election, then his post was kind of meaningless, wasn't it, and what was the point of making the statement at all?

Anyone who votes a straight party ticket is showing the same kind of partisanship as those who throw around terms such as Dumocrats or Repuglicans or whatever. They're just doing it more quietly. Ballots shouldn't even offer that option, and it would be better still if the candidates weren't even identified by party affiliation on the ballot. Imagine that - the voters would actually have to know the candidates names!

KS 4 years, 11 months ago

Hedley - Reread the article. He stated that there have been none!

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 11 months ago

Kobach is wrong to claim cases were never investigated. Kobach's beef is that cases were never prosecuted.

That's because the investigations revealed no fraud had occurred, and Kobach knows that.

His entire argument is based upon a "guilty until proven innocent" logic; he is claiming that the implication of voter fraud is in fact voter fraud.

Somebody should finger Kris for murder, then we'll see if he starts referring to himself as a murderer.

missunderestimate 4 years, 11 months ago

Pffft.

Let's get back to Job #1..... that is keeping all Muslims away from Ground Zero, the birthplace of our country; and repealing our constitutional rights (only Amendment 14, not Amendment 2!) because it will destroy our country.

thinkagain 4 years, 11 months ago

It would seem that if ones agenda was to pursue voter fraud in a state that contains primarily Republican voters, statistically, most of the pursued would be Republicans. The last big "voter fraud" incident in Douglas County in my memory, an actual "voter suppression" act, was perpetuated by a Republican in fact.

independant1 4 years, 11 months ago

Party politics is the most narrow minded occupation in the World. (Will Rogers)

ivalueamerica 4 years, 11 months ago

This must be the reasons we keep electing so many Republicans in Kansas...voter fraud.

What a maroon.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

ACORN? I guess Kris hasn't gotten the message that ACORN has been exonerated of every piece of sheeite that people like Kobach have thrown against the wall.

But this isn't about voter fraud. This is about Kobach's willingness to say anything to frighten the sheeple that make up his core constituency.

grammaddy 4 years, 11 months ago

So your answer would be to reinstate the corporate crooks who got us into this mess? Have you even seen the video of the so-called "Black Panther voter intimidation thugs" you speak of? All they did was stand outside the polling place. They didn't threaten anybody. Just like your accusations against ACORN.No basis in fact.We can tell by your incessant trashing of Obama, Reid and Pelosi which party you belong to.I just hope the rest of America is a little smarter than you. Most of us are REALLY tired of the Fear rightwingnuts spewing the same garbage you do. If you've got the facts and the truth, there's no need for fear-mongering like yours.I know, I know, truth has no place in your politics.

jimmyjms 4 years, 11 months ago

I love the "New Black Panthers voter intimidation" meme.

If that story had any legs, wouldn't someone have come forward and said "hey, I was intimidated?"

My favorite part of this non-story is the video itself: the guy filming says "I'm a poll watcher so I can go inside." The idiot with the billy club says "ok, fine."

How intimidating!

The entire time, there's a 20-something white girl talking on her phone maybe 5-10 ft. from the NBP people. Boy, she looks scared and intimidated! Well, not really.

Then at the end of video, out come two professionally dressed white folks, apparently having just voted.

Whoa. Scary. Scaaaaarrrrryyyyy.

camper 4 years, 11 months ago

Wow. This is a time period between 1998-2008. 11 reported cases. This averages a little over one/year. One other key point: the opponent's editorial is a little different because he states 11 "possible" cases of voter fraud were reported. Possible is a key word here. Some of these reported cases could have simply been errors rather than fraud.

Kobach is either 1) fabricating a problem that does not exist for political purposes, or 2) he cannot see the immateriality of these low #'s and view the issue in proper scale. This is what micro-managers do. For this reason, I am not voting for him.

Centerville 4 years, 11 months ago

Doesn't Kobach understand that the most neglected, yet important, function of the KSOS is to accompany the KSOS corporations division in regular songfests, culminating with "Home on the Range?" I wonder if Kris even knows all the verses...and I've yet to see him in a Hawaiian shirt.

Orwell 4 years, 11 months ago

If you don't have anything real to offer the voters, the standard tactic is to make them scared and upset about something. Kobach has learned this cheap political trick all too well.

grammaddy 4 years, 11 months ago

Somehow I knew that would be your answer. If you can't get 'em with the truth, scare them.Typical.

Scott Drummond 4 years, 11 months ago

Never forget that our President and the current Congress are only attempting to clean up what george w. bush and the right wingers inflicted upon our once great nation. Don't like President Obama? Thank george w. bush.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

I have to show a photo ID to write a check or use my debit card. I have to show a photo ID at the emergency room. I have to show a photo ID to get a job. I have to show a photo ID so many times in the course of daily routine that I finally bought a wallet with a window where it can be seen without removing it from the wallet.

But somehow it's a hardship to prove who you are to be able to participate in selecting the people who govern us? From the sound of the comments here, many people are displeased with who those elected ones are - but you don't care who gets to choose those people for you?

Several people have mentioned the paucity of evidence that fraud takes place - fine. Where is YOUR evidence that requiring voters to prove who they are would result in any legitimate voter being denied his/her right to cast a ballot?

Practicality 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree. Showing an ID is of little concern and we do it for many other things in our daily lives. Do you know if the State ID's are free? I don't know if they are or not, but I think they probably should be if this becomes a requirement.

I am also wondering how the Mail-in ballots would be handled.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

In the Supreme Court's ruling that affirmed the Indiana photo-ID law, they specifically stated that the state's allowing some people to file absentee ballots in no way negated their right to require ID when voting in person.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Pretty much. I made no statements claiming the Indiana law eliminates voter fraud. The state can, however, at their will, stop allowing absentee voting.

I merely pointed out that the Supreme Court has already ruled that a photo ID requirement is constitutional. A decision which has subsequently been used by federal courts to uphold similar laws in at least one other state. In the Court's decision, incidentally, they stated that they, at least, recognized the legitimate risk of fraud that outweighs the minimal number of people who might be disenfranchised - especially as the plaintiff in the case failed to produce a single person that was aggrieved by the requirements, or to show that it placed any unreasonable hardship on a single person. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the Justices.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely.

It's outrageous that we don't have a consistent and effective system of counting votes throughout the country.

Larry Bauerle Jr. 4 years, 11 months ago

Actually, where I vote I would hand over my DNA to an older lady of about 95 years of age. My big brother has a job, therefore he can't volunteer at election time. With that being said, Kobach seems to be creating a crisis where there is none. It's like watching the local weathermen.

Jimo 4 years, 11 months ago

Evidence of an election result changed in Kansas by voter fraud ---

None.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Evidence of a legitimate voter not being allowed to vote because of a voter ID requirement:

None.

(And, um, jimmie, I hate to point out the obvious to you - well, I don't hate it a lot - but if we don't require people to prove who they are, how would there BE any evidence of an election being affected?)

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

And again:

1) If you don't require ID, how would you know if there is any fraud? It's like saying you don't have to carry a driver's license when operating a motor vehicle, and then saying there's no evidence of unlicensed drivers.

2) Has there been any evidence that requiring an ID prevents legitimate voters from voting?

Jimo 4 years, 11 months ago

So, to summarize, No evidence of an election result changed in Kansas by voter fraud.

Kobach claims that the few allegations (undocumented) are "the tip of the iceberg." One would wonder how it is that not a single example can be shown given how extensive this conspiracy must be! Authorities do need an ID-policy to investigate and document fraud. Kobach claims they ALREADY have the allegations in hand.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

So, to summarize, no evidence of any legitimate voter being denied his right to cast a ballot due to being required to produce an ID. Right, jimmie-boy?

pittstatebb 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't disagree with your opinion, but the SCOTUS has ruled in the past on poll taxes. Currently legal analysis that I have read (which could be wrong), says that this type of law will end up before the SCOTUS and that they will declare it unconstitutional. Now if KS driver's license/identity cards were FREE (like voter registration), then we might be able to pass a law that would withstand a legal challenge. But until we make the change, I do not think it is a good idea to pass a law that the supposed experts say will end up being declared unconstitutional. That seems like a waste of time, energy, and especially money.

We would still need a way of determining non-citizens (who are allowed to drive and are not all illegals) versus citizens for voting purposes.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"Currently legal analysis that I have read (which could be wrong), says that this type of law will end up before the SCOTUS and that they will declare it unconstitutional."

If we knew in advance how the SCOTUS would rule, we wouldn't need a Supreme Court.

"Now if KS driver's license/identity cards were FREE (like voter registration), then we might be able to pass a law that would withstand a legal challenge."

Missouri tried that. They passed a law that made the ID's free, and they even funded a bunch of mobile ID units that would travel to such places as nursing homes where the residents had difficulty traveling to a motor vehicle office. Some judge decided that was too much, too. Apparently the objection was just that people were being asked to prove who they were.

"We would still need a way of determining non-citizens (who are allowed to drive and are not all illegals) versus citizens for voting purposes."

That part, I believe, is (or should be) taken care of in the registration process. The purpose of an ID at the poll is to prove you're the person who registered.

Mike Ford 4 years, 11 months ago

voter fraud is a totally made up straw man used by dumblicans to push the whole xenophobia thing in rural areas. What I'd like to see is a poll tax on registered voters who are dumber than dirt who can't pass a test on current social studies questions. That way, if they honestly believe the bs fox and shewmon and rasmussen are pushing, they would have to pay a penalty because people like me pay a penalty everytime a dumblican gets into office. I just got done with an eight year penalty nationally, and I've been paying a penalty living in the state for almost three decades as the rest of the country wonders how this state elects such clowns. If you're going to vote you're going to have to accept that half of what rasmussen and fox states is bs. This network allows clowns like Kobach, Angle, and these other clowns free reign to say a bunch of nothing.

independant1 4 years, 11 months ago

I hope some of the men who get the most votes will be elected. (Will Rogers)

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

The right to travel freely is in the Constitution, isn't it?

Then why isn't it unconstitutional to require a photo ID to get on an airplane?

pittstatebb 4 years, 11 months ago

Again, I think requiring photo ID should happen . . . but traveling feely has nothing to do with airplanes. There are many modes of travel that do not require photo ID and until ALL modes of travel (including walking) do require ID it cannot be unconstitutional.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Feel free to walk to Hawaii. Or, for that matter, to Alaska, without being stopped at some point and being asked for ID.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

No, jesse, I was replying solely to his contention that he can walk.

But since you brought it up, you can get on a cruise ship if you're on the no-fly list, but can you get on one without producing ID?

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Here, saved you the trouble:

"There's no need for a passport when you sail on any Hawaii inter-island cruise. If your ship never sails beyond the islands of Hawaii, all you need is a government-issued photo I.D. which includes a passport or a valid driver's license with a photo."

From Norwegian Cruise Line's website,

http://www.ncl.com/nclweb/cruiser/cmsPages.html?pageId=PassportRequirements

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Well, if he walks to Hawaii, he probably wouldn't need ID, since as far as I know, only one person has ever been able to pull that off.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Try docking the boat when you get there.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

To walk to Alaska, you would need identification to enter that state after passing through Canada. Or were you planning to swim around it?

Try sailing into any port in Hawaii in any vessel capable of transiting the distance from the American mainland and being allowed to tie up without proving who you are. Let us know how that works out for ya'.

Don't know what has your goat this evening, Jesse, or why you're being deliberately obtuse. The point is that you need a government issued ID to do almost anything these days, including the exercise of various rights (including, but not limited to, travel). Why should voting be any different? Especially as the Supreme Court has already ruled on the constitutionality of requiring photo ID's to vote?

camper 4 years, 11 months ago

If voter fraud were a problem, the bigger area of risk would be at a higher level like a precinct or location that submits the ballots (ie stuffed ballot box)....not at an individual level, where voter ID is scrutinized.

kernal 4 years, 11 months ago

It's not that hard to get a bogus photo id if you have the money and the contacts. So, just how am I to prove I am who I am and that I am a U.S. citizen? Do I have to get a court order to dig up my grandparents or great grandparents remains for a DNA match? Get real Kobach.

Next thing you know, he'll be pushing for everyone to have microchip implants.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Well, I believe state ID's like driver's licenses have various anti-fraud mechanisms.

Proving citizenship is different - I'm not sure what the proposals are for doing that.

But I'm in complete agreement that it's not unreasonable to make sure that the people voting in US elections are in fact citizens and who they claim to be. We should also make sure that all voting machines, etc. are accurate and all votes are counted.

These are the very basics necessary for making sure that our system functions as it should.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

How about a card reader you insert your DL/ID into on the voting machine? Hey, it works for the casinos ...

(You could also establish a rewards system for frequent voters ...)

Mike Ford 4 years, 11 months ago

admit I'm right jayhawk...admit I'm right... oohhh that must be so tough........

remember_username 4 years, 11 months ago

"Public confidence in the integrity of elections is at an all time low."

It may be news to you Mr. Kobach, but public confidence in the integrity of those elected is at an all time low. Why?

The process of getting elected and staying elected today involves so many distortions and so much spin that it's not surprising politicians are considered to be so dishonest.

Consider your comment "My opponent’s claim that voter fraud is not a problem is incorrect. He is either woefully ignorant of what his own office reported prior to his arrival, or he is actively misrepresenting the facts."

Actually Sec. Biggs should be correctly quoted as saying "Voter fraud in this state is not a major problem" (6-13-10 AP) and in fact Stephanie Meyer, spokesperson for previous Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, was quoted to say 'We think voter fraud is very minimal".

Next time try being a little bit more honest in your opinions pieces to the public. There are quite a few independents in this state who are looking for a person of integrity to vote for... and someone who is really interested in serving the people of Kansas, rather than everyone else.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 11 months ago

There are no current proposals to require photo ID, because lawmakers are well aware that photo IDs are not ubiquitous.

For those referencing Missouri, there is no requirement for photo ID in Missouri.

Requiring a photo ID would be thrown out in court before the ink was dry on the Governor's signature, and Kobach knows it. Just more demagoguery.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Is that why the Supreme Court upheld Indiana's law, bobbie? Granted, there is no specific requirement for a photo, but the requirement is for a government-issued ID (how many of those don't have pictures?).

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 11 months ago

Which photo id law was upheld? The one that doesn't exist?

Do your own research clown. You're arguing for photo id and that will never happen.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Can you read, buffoon? Perhaps you'd look marginally less like a troll if you read a post before trying to respond to one: "there is no specific requirement for a photo, but the requirement is for a government-issued ID".

You picked the wrong avatar, bobbie. Romper Room would have been more appropriate for you.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 11 months ago

You literally just called yourself a buffoon. Stop stealing pills, they are paid for with taxpayer dollars. That's fraud.

A photo ID requirement will never fly, so what are you arguing?

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Glad you managed to get that response in there, bobbie - I didn't think you could fit your other foot in your mouth.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Hmmm. bobbie got quiet all of a sudden. Strange. No attempt at a witty retort, bobbie?

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Why, I must apologize, I misread one of the sources I had checked earlier today.

Let's see, bobbie, I believe your question was:

"Which photo id law was upheld? The one that doesn't exist?"

Why, I believe it was this one, bobbie:

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_07_21/

So, when you said "that will never happen", did you perchance mean "never happen again"?

(Of course, that would be wrong too, bobbie, since other states have since passed similar laws. But thanks for playing.)

Ann Hamil 4 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Kobach can have my vote when he promises to 1. provide all voters with a streamlined ID and voting system with no cost access to the process. Some older voters were not born in a hospital or registered with government institutions as common practice decades ago. Some voters were married or had name changes years ago and have reported being denied the right to vote. The process of securing their documents or provided alternative proof of residency should be free or it amounts to a poll tax. 2. He should also advocate sunshine laws on campaign financing to prevent voters being defrauded right before elections with mountains of shadily funded lies (I believe the financing of such last minute smears in Kansas does not have to be revealed until AFTER the election). 3. If we are to have electronic voting anywhere in Kansas then I want a receipt to print out of how my vote was registered in the machine, I want to sign to confirm that is how I voted and put that paper trail ballot in a locked ballot box, so that when electronic results are announced, they can be verified by comparing the paper trail. 4. Promise to have zero tolerance for voter intimidation and suppression efforts like scrubbing of voter rolls right before elections without multiple attempts to contact said voters to verify their status as voters. Any S of S candidate who can deliver these things will have my vote regardless of party. (I'm not holding my breath).

Verdad 4 years, 11 months ago

The State of Kansas real ID laws are going to make the proof of your identity to be issued a driver's license much more difficult. For example, women who have been married multiple times will need to trace their name changes using legal papers from birth name to current name. Either that, or they will need to provide a US passport.

Jimo 4 years, 11 months ago

"Sedgwick County provisional ballot judge Kathy Perry testified before the Kansas Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and described multiple forms of voter fraud that she personally witnessed"

Such as: "Another man who voted in the general election told us that he “advanced voted” in Nebraska, and had just voted at his old Kansas address. He asked us if it was OK to vote twice if his name was not removed from the registry."

"A lady that voted [a] computer ballot said as she was leaving, “IN CHICAGO WE HAVE A SAYING, ‘VOTE EARLY and VOTE OFTEN, BYE.’”

"Two men who spoke very broken English told us that they were not sure if they were US citizens."

"After we sealed her (a lady with a thick foreign accent !) ballot, she asked if it was OK to vote in two states, and told us that she had driven from Tulsa where she voted earlier that day."

None of these anecdotes prove voter fraud. None of these anecdotes would have been avoided with an ID requirement. None of these anecdotes even hint that an election result was altered.

In-person voter fraud is significant where a rare trifecta of circumstances are present: (1) there is a close election and (2) there is a substantial number of fraudulent votes cast and (3) virtually all of those fraudulent votes are cast for one candidate and not for other candidates. Such a conspiracy (and it would have to be an extensive conspiracy) is as common as a Kansas crocodile.

blindrabbit 4 years, 11 months ago

Herr Kobach: It was just reported that a chunk of sky had fallen out in Western Kansas. Based on the fact that the population is so low out there should we ignore it or hire a special prosecutor to sue someone. Better yet, let's float the idea kinda like Orsen Wells did back in the 1940's in "War of the Worlds" on the radio about a Martian Invasion. We'll just continue to scare everyone, you know this tactic has worked wonders for us Repubs. lately.

Mike Ford 4 years, 11 months ago

oh voter fraud and ids really... this dumb country won't even acknowledge the passports of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy which has lands in NY, Quebec, and NY. Had a friend of mine profiled with me south of White Cloud, KS, who showed his ID from the sovereign Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. We were near Iowa Tribal Rez and cops didn't know to acknowledge tribal ids with a rez in their county. smart Kansas people again...right?....

pace 4 years, 11 months ago

SBad cookies, more oversight at charity bake sales. I don't care if the state house and senate really were suppose to be democrats, all politicians go for the same bucks but they need to crack down on bad cookies.

staff04 4 years, 11 months ago

Sorry Kris, still don't believe it is a problem that requires the obsessive focus you seem to have on it.

Katara 4 years, 11 months ago

No, Mr. Kobach. Voter fraud is neither a serious problem nor a significant one. Please stop crying "wolf".

"Based on the research and analysis conducted for Securing the Vote, we offer several conclusions about election fraud in the United States today: Voter fraud appears to be very rare in the 12 states examined in that report. Legal and news records turned up little evidence of significant fraud in these states or any indication that fraud is more than a minor problem. Interviews with state officials further confirmed this impression.

Notable election reforms of the past 10 to 15 years—such as the NVRA, more permissive absentee balloting rules, all mail-in voting in Oregon, and the enactment of Election Day Registration in several more states—have not facilitated voter fraud.

Analysis of several cases of election fraud that have received significant attention in recent years suggests that some of the most notable allegations of fraud have proved to be baseless. While the 1997 mayoral primary election in Miami, Florida, was one of the most egregious election fraud cases in recent memory, there are other noted cases where charges of significant vote fraud have been disproved, such as the 1996 Dornan/Sanchez contest for the U.S. House of Representatives in Orange County, California. There are yet other cases, such as the 2000 election in St. Louis, Missouri, in which politicians have made great hay, but charges of widespread fraud have not been substantiated. A new Demos report on voter fraud in states offering Election Day Registration finds that despite the hundreds of news stories reporting on allegations of voter fraud in Wisconsin in the 2004 presidential election, practically no fraud has ever been proven. An intensive effort on the part of the federal government to uncover and prosecute voter fraud in Wisconsin resulted in only 14 indictments and five convictions or guilty pleas for illegal voting in an election in which over 3 million ballots were cast.16" http://www.demos.org/pubs/Analysis.pdf (Link is Adobe document)

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"Voter fraud appears to be very rare in the 12 states examined in that report."

Whereas the incidence of voters being disenfranchised or even having had an unreasonable hardship placed upon them due to the voter ID requirement is: nonexistent.

BTW, Katara, is Dēmos the best source you could come up with, a 'non-partisan' organization that happens to (baselessly) oppose voter ID laws?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree that the idea of requiring ID is reasonable.

But, isn't it as hard to determine if that requirement will be a hardship and/or discourage people from voting as it is to determine voter fraud?

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

I believe there have been published studies that reflect the same increase in voter participation in Indiana (the state with the most stringent requirements) after implementation of the law as was typical of the rest of the country. And there was also support in those studies that the demographic groups that were supposedly going to be disenfranchised were not, in fact.

Katara 4 years, 11 months ago

You aren't refuting their findings.

How about showing us that voter fraud is prevalent or significant enough to devote additional resources to combating it?

Mr. Kobach is simply making a mountain out of a molehill. He can't prove that it is prevalent or significant.

As for photo id being required for everything, I have no idea what places you frequent but I have had to show a photo id 3 times in the last 2 months. Once for a medical form that needed to be notarized and twice for the pediatrician's office.

I never have had to show a photo id to use my debit card at the grocery stores or other stores around town. I've not been asked to show a photo id to write a check to pay my city utility bill when paying in person. Showing a photo id for a credit card transaction is actually prohibited by the credit card companies in their merchant agreements.

A photo id is not required to be hired for a job. http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

In fact, the only place I've dealt with that has required ID for writing a check was Pizza Shuttle and if you have it delivered, you don't even have to show that ID to the delivery guy. The ID number just has to be written on the check.

I feel extremely safe and secure knowing that I am protected from pizza fraud. ;)

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"You aren't refuting their findings. "

Why would I even attempt to refute the findings of a biased source? And incidentally, I don't need to refute anything. The Supreme Court has already ruled on the matter. If you read the decision, you'll see that they affirmed the lower courts' rulings that a) there is no evidence that any voter has been disenfranchised by the ID requirement (they note that the plaintiff was unable to produce a single one), b) there is no evidence that the ID requirement places an unreasonable hardship on any voter (despite Dēmos' claims to the contrary), and c) the small number of potential voters who might be inconvenienced are outweighed by the risk of fraud.

"How about showing us that voter fraud is prevalent or significant enough to devote additional resources to combating it? "

What additional resources would those be?

"As for photo id being required for everything, I have no idea what places you frequent but I have had to show a photo id 3 times in the last 2 months."

Maybe math wasn't your best subject, but I'm pretty sure 3 times in 2 months is more frequent than once every two years. Also, it appears you have a license already. Guess that means the additional burden on you to vote would be - let's see - absolutely non-existent.

"I never have had to show a photo id to use my debit card at the grocery stores or other stores around town. I've not been asked to show a photo id to write a check to pay my city utility bill when paying in person. Showing a photo id for a credit card transaction is actually prohibited by the credit card companies in their merchant agreements."

I'm aware of the credit card agreements. I'm also aware that many merchants are not aware of this rule, or ignore it. Maybe to you it's worth walking out and going to another store, repeating the shopping, and hoping the new store follows the rules. To me it isn't a big deal. And the last time it happened was Saturday, in Lawrence.

"A photo id is not required to be hired for a job."

Some of us are over 18, non-students, and not of Native American descent. So yes, it pretty much is.

Katara 4 years, 11 months ago

Voter fraud is not a prevalent enough nor a significant enough problem to devote additional resources. Show us where it is needed.

Requiring photo ID is not necessary. Unless you can show a legitimate reason why it is necessary, then Kobach is simply just grandstanding. Just stating that there could be voter fraud happening is not sufficient.

You can be insulting all you want. Photo ID is not required for everything as you claimed. It is not required for a job. There are several forms of ID on the I9 that are not photo IDs that are sufficient to present to be hired for a job. It is not required for all business transactions.

I've not claimed that it is a burden to me or to anyone. It simply is not necessary to require it. There is no need as voter fraud is rare, which is what the Demos document showed.

You keep harping on voter disenfranchisement or burden and that is not what I have said. If you read the whole Demos document, you would have noticed that they even did not state that it would cause a burden or disenfranchisement. They said the possibility exists, which has about as much standing as Kobach's (and your concern) that the possibility of voter fraud exists.

Either way, it does not matter because it simply is not necessary. It does not matter that the Supreme Court ruled it was okay. They did not rule that it was necessary to do. They ruled that it was not a hardship or undue burden.

So, tell us why this is a serious issue that absolutely must be addressed. That is your burden of proof. If you and Kobach want to change the status quo, it is your burden to demonstrate the necessity and neither of you have so far.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"Voter fraud is not a prevalent enough nor a significant enough problem to devote additional resources. Show us where it is needed."

And one more time, I'll ask what resources?

"So, tell us why this is a serious issue that absolutely must be addressed. That is your burden of proof. If you and Kobach want to change the status quo, it is your burden to demonstrate the necessity and neither of you have so far."

Try reading the Supreme Court decision that upheld the Indiana law. They decided the states have a valid interest in protecting against fraud that outweighs any potential hardship, none of which has even been demonstrated to exist.

And you're wrong about the burden of proof - if the legislators of this state, elected by the voters of this state, draft and pass such legislation, and it is signed into law by the governor, there is no requirement in the state's constitution that they prove some need first. The Supreme Court of this country has already ruled that such a law is allowable and justified.

Your argument that there's no proof that fraud is widespread so therefore the law is unnecessary is juvenile, and makes as much sense as saying that there's no reason to devote the additional resources for a deadbolt on your home until after your home has been burglarized - repeatedly.

Katara 4 years, 11 months ago

I am not sure why you believe this type of change to be free of any cost - to either voters or the state.

Whether or not the Supreme Court has decided that the states have a valid interest in protecting against fraud does not mean the states are required to do so nor are they required to do so by photo ID.

I'm not wrong about the burden of proof. Citizens expect that laws meet a need. There is no need for this law. Legislators who pass feel good legislation that does nothing suffer the consequences by being voted out. Perhaps the ones pushing this are concerned that they will be held accountable for their empty actions.

Even Brownback recognizes what impact empty laws have on the state or he would haven't suggested his "Office of the Repealer".

You engage in as much hyperbole when it comes the "serious problem" of voter fraud as Kobach does. Photo ID is not the deadbolt you are looking for. If voter fraud is that important for someone to commit, then they will simply just fake an ID. Do you think the little old ladies manning the polling booths are going to recognize a fake ID when they see one?

If you want to be really really sure that someone is who they say they are before they cast their vote, why not require fingerprints or perhaps we could do the inked finger such as it is done in Iraq. It would merely be an inconvenience and not an undue burden.

And why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone? We could match those fingerprints up with criminal databases to nab those darn burglars who keep breaking into my house.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"I am not sure why you believe this type of change to be free of any cost - to either voters or the state."

For a start, because I've asked you twice now, and you haven't been able to identify any.

Use your imagination - here's one: It will cost the state some money to give out free IDs. Do you have some objection to that, katara? Do you have some objection to the state supplying people that can't afford one an ID that they might just need for other things, even if it's only 3 times every two months?

"Whether or not the Supreme Court has decided that the states have a valid interest in protecting against fraud does not mean the states are required to do so nor are they required to do so by photo ID."

And nobody said they were. The court's decision seemed to sound like they considered it a wise precaution, however.

"I'm not wrong about the burden of proof. Citizens expect that laws meet a need."

Citizens can expect whatever they want to, but unrealistic expectations are the problem of those that hold them, not those who fail to meet them. As mentioned, there is no constitutional requirement that an absolute need for legislation is present before its passage and implementation. Or is it your contention that there is an absolute need to pass legislation naming a five mile stretch of highway after some former elected official, or declaring the oyster the state bi-valve?

"You engage in as much hyperbole when it comes the "serious problem" of voter fraud as Kobach does."

[sigh]

Once more I long for someone with a sixth-grade reading comprehension. Perhaps you could point to where I said - anywhere - that it's a "serious problem"? Requiring ID is a wise precaution, especially as the cost is minimal and it presents no additional hardship or obstacles in the voting process. See if you can get it this time: It doesn't have to be a serious problem, since the precautions have such a minimal impact and cost.

"If you want to be really really sure that someone is who they say they are before they cast their vote, why not require fingerprints or perhaps we could do the inked finger such as it is done in Iraq. It would merely be an inconvenience and not an undue burden."

Really, kat - does that make any sense whatsoever even to you? And you're the one talking about not using resources? Are you seriously going to say something so stupid as that there's a comparison between asking someone to present something that the vast majority of them already have, and the rest can obtain easily enough, requiring no additional time or effort on the part of the elections officials, and checking everyone's fingerprints? Seriously?

"And why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone? We could match those fingerprints up with criminal databases to nab those darn burglars who keep breaking into my house. "

Do you lock your doors, kat? Why? Your naivete is charming, and somewhat amusing.

Katara 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, yes. The insults most definitely make you look much smarter.

Do you think that handing out free IDs (if that is what you think would work best) won't have a cost? How about you quantify this "minimal" cost for us so we can decide if it is worth it. You must have some idea of how much it would be since you have deemed it minimal.

If it was such necessity that people have a photo ID, why hasn't it been done already? If people are so disadvantaged by not having a photo ID, why has the state not implemented such a necessary thing? Perhaps it is because a photo ID is not a necessity? It doesn't matter if the majority has one or not, it is not a requirement for most daily activities.

A wise precaution? Against what? Voter fraud is rare. Can you show any instances that your wise precaution would prevented voter fraud from happening? The instances of voter fraud that did occur (per the Demos document) were caught using the existing system and did not involve photo ID. The system works now. There is no need to change it.

Last time I checked, most have fingers and fingers are free. The only cost with fingerprinting would be ink, paper & a scanner. The computer does the matching. I think that qualifies as minimal cost & being fingerprinted is not an undue burden and, if that is going to be your standard, fingerprinting is just as reasonable as presenting a photo ID.

Inking the finger with purple ink would probably be even less cost. Why not do that? You have visible evidence that someone has voted & they can't sneak in & vote again. It is not an undue burden to have a purple finger and you get the added bonus of being able to wave it about patriotically to show you participated in democracy.

So why photo ID? Why is that necessary? Why can't you show that voter fraud is something we need to be concerned about?

You agree that it is not a serious problem. You agree that there is no evidence to show that it has affected the outcome of any elections. All you seem to be able to argue is that the cost is "minimal" (which we don't really know to be true) and that a photo ID is not considered an undue burden by SCOTUS. Other than you believe it to be a wise precaution (for a problem that you acknowledge not to be a serious issue), you really can't tell us why this is a necessary thing & that it will actually prevent voter fraud.

The system is fine. There is no reason to require a photo ID to vote.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"Do you think that handing out free IDs (if that is what you think would work best) won't have a cost?"

Again, my kingdom for someone that can read. That's not an insult, just an observation. I clearly stated that giving away free IDs was a cost, since you couldn't come up with any on your own. (You've had several chances a- come up with any yet?)

"Perhaps it is because a photo ID is not a necessity?"

Unless, of course, the person has a "medical form that needed to be notarized", or visits a pediatrician's office, or wants to write a check for a pizza. Or maybe (to those people that actually leave Larryville from time to time) they want to get on an airplane. Geez, do you even read what you write?

So your complaint is that people have access to free IDs, or they don't? The Indiana law, and Missouri's short-lived one, provided for IDs at no cost for those that can't afford one . Most people - even those who only have to produce an ID 3 times in 2 months - would see that as an added bonus, not a cost.

"per the Demos document"

Oh, right. Your unbiased source of expertise.

From one of the "senior democracy fellows" at Demos:

"For as we know the voters who are far and away more likely to be disenfranchised by these nonsensical, ineffective measures are lower income, young people, minorities, the elderly, new Americans and voters with disabilities. "

And yet, as the Supreme Court found, not a single disenfranchised voter was found to support their case. And what the research shows, despite the claims of Demos, is that voter participation in Indiana increased just as much as it did in the rest of the country, and those demographics were represented just as much as always. Your source is a crock, kat.

"Last time I checked, most have fingers and fingers are free. The only cost with fingerprinting would be ink, paper & a scanner. The computer does the matching."

I was wrong to give you that much credit. Hard to believe as it is, you really can be that foolish. You really think that equipping every polling site in the state with computers to match fingerprints would be as cost-effective as providing state-issued IDs to the few people that don't already have them? And you expect to be taken seriously?

And even at that, kat, which side of this are you arguing - or do you just like to see your words in print? You're arguing that equipping every polling site in the state with the equipment to verify fingerprints "qualifies as minimal cost & being fingerprinted is not an undue burden", but somehow being asked to show an ID that almost everyone already carries is a hardship?

"The system is fine. There is no reason to require a photo ID to vote."

As there is no reason not to. But to the brilliant wisdom of katara, advocating for fingerprint ID instead of photo ID, I suppose it makes sense to say there's no reason to lock the barn door until after it's been proven that the horses can leave.

Katara 4 years, 11 months ago

And again, your argument for requiring photo ID is that it is at minimal cost (we don't know that to be true) and that it is not an undue burden. That's it. That is the most that you can come up with to convince people it is a good idea to change existing law regarding the exercise of one's right to vote.

A photo ID is not required for most daily activities. It is not necessary to have one. You can give examples of where it is requested but there are just as many examples of situations where it is not needed to get the same result. I don't have to fly to travel. I don't have to drive to travel. There are options that do not require photo ID.

Not all pediatricians require photo ID with an insurance card and even if I have one that does, I certainly won't need a photo ID if I don't have insurance. I am not required to provide a photo ID to get treatment for my child.

I don't have to have pizza from Pizza Shuttle. I can order from many others places that deliver pizza that do not require a photo id for a check or I can pay in cash. I can make my own pizza.

I don't need a photo ID to have a form notarized in KS and many other states.

Photo ID is simply not a requirement or even a necessity.

I haven't advocated for fingerprinting nor any other additional requirement to exercise our basic right to vote but requiring fingerprinting has just as much validity as an option to photo ID if voter fraud is such a concern that we should take seriously.

You saying that the Demos group is biased is bunk. Demonstrate how their findings are biased. You can not refute anything from their findings. Voter fraud is rare and allegations of voter fraud that have come up were severely overstated and boiled down to error, not fraud. Error that would not have been solved by adding additional requirements (regardless or not whether those requirements are an undue burden) to exercise the basic right to vote.

Further, they explain that voter disenfranchisement is a possibility and that there are specifics groups in which this would be most likely to happen. That makes them biased for identifying groups that, if it were to happen, that it would most likely happen to?

Either way, voter disenfranchisement and undue burden is not the argument I am making despite your wanting to make it so. It is simply a distraction technique you are using to cause people to look away from the fact that you cannot give a good reason for adding more requirements to the exercise of the basic right to vote other than voter fraud may possibly somehow, somewhere, at some point in the future, happen. You keep beating that drum despite evidence that voter fraud is rare and has not affected the outcome of any election.

So you can keep on with the insults all you like. It does not change the fact that the system works as it is now and if it needs changing, it is not because of voter fraud as Kobach puts forth.

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"That is the most that you can come up with to convince people it is a good idea to change existing law regarding the exercise of one's right to vote."

Except it in no way changes anything about one exercising one's right to vote. That's the point. In in no way changes anything about exercising that right than putting pictures on drivers' licenses changed anything about exercising the right to drive.

"Photo ID is simply not a requirement or even a necessity."

And yet you have one, and carry it, and use it, and so does almost everyone else, and those that don't can obtain one easily enough.

"You saying that the Demos group is biased is bunk. Demonstrate how their findings are biased."

Fine. They weren't biased. They're lying. Or just wrong. Either way the body of evidence is that there has been no voter disenfranchisement since Indiana - and other states - have passed similar laws. There has been a Supreme Court ruling to that effect. It is only your own blindness and obstinacy that supports them.

"It is simply a distraction technique you are using to cause people to look away from the fact that you cannot give a good reason for adding more requirements to the exercise of the basic right to vote other than voter ..."

yada yada yada yada yada

There does not need to be a reason. Got it? It's a precaution with minimum to no cost. A person has always had to identify themselves to exercise the basic right to vote, even if it's just telling the poll worker who they are. Any proposed voter ID law just specifies the method used for identification.

"You keep beating that drum despite evidence that voter fraud is rare and has not affected the outcome of any election."

Besides the fact that no evidence that an election was affected is not proof that none were, you admit there is some fraud, no matter how rare. There is nobody that has been denied their right to vote due to a voter ID requirement. And one more time, kat: "Rare" may mean not many, but that's still more than "none".

TopJayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm a conservative.........duh. I will not vote for Brownback, I will not vote for Kobach.. If I could I would not vote for the Moran dynasty wannabe. Let's hear what Dems the Dems on here would not vote for. Or are you about partisanship? Sound off guys. You can't like 'em all.

BigPrune 4 years, 11 months ago

Democrats commit voter fraud, Republicans do not. Living in the bastion of liberal Democrat Lawrence, you can't help but wonder if voter fraud ever happens in this town.

BigPrune 4 years, 11 months ago

Try to look at this with an open mind Defender, then show me where Republicans were caught committing voter fraud, then show me where all the Democrats were caught committing voter fraud. Do the comparison yourself. 99 Democrats to 1 Republican maybe?

BigPrune 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, the link failed to mention the past presidential election.

The heaviest funding for the Brennan Center for Justice comes from George Soros of the Open Society Institute.[17] Between 1999 and 2004, the Open Society Institute gave grants to the Brennan Center totaling $3,291,218.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bzbwzdVqeWUJ:judgepedia.org/index.php/Brennan_Center_for_Justice+Brennan+Center+for+Justice+soros&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

snoozey 4 years, 11 months ago

This guy is almost as nutty as the Phlp's crew of inbreds..

Danielle Brunin 4 years, 11 months ago

Kris Kobach: "We have intelligence that the Legion of Doom is plotting to assassinate Jesus!"

Grump 4 years, 11 months ago

Kris, you make Phill seem marginally sane.

Meds, dude. They can really help.

Sunny Parker 4 years, 11 months ago

Kobach for President...rather than a Community Organizer!

notajayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

I suppose it's no surprise that so many people on these threads oppose the ID requirement - after all, most of you spend half your time reciting the same old mantra every time you walk into one of Larryville's lovely nightspots: "I don't have my ID with me, he drove."

ivalueamerica 4 years, 11 months ago

The title should read:

"Kris Kobach fraud is a serious problem Kansas needs to address"

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