Archive for Sunday, November 7, 2010

The right order

Before crafting legislation to solve a problem, the newly elected Kansas secretary of state should determine exactly what the problem is.

November 7, 2010


Kris Kobach views his election on Tuesday as the new Kansas secretary of state as “a mandate” to take action on voter fraud issues.

Some would question that assessment, but even if it is true, it seems that Kobach is planning to pursue solutions for voter fraud before determining exactly what the problem is.

Kobach said Thursday that he plans to have a bill drafted for state legislators by Jan. 1 that would require voters to show photo ID at the polls and require people registering to vote for the first time in a given county to present proof of their citizenship. Within a week of taking office on Jan. 10, he added, he will assign one or two members of his staff to investigate allegations of election fraud.

It seems that Kobach may be getting the cart before the horse. It makes far more sense to have his staff investigate reports of election fraud, ascertain the extent of the fraud problem, then evaluate the best course of action to attack the specific problems that his staff uncovers. It could be that requiring people to show identification at the polls would place an additional burden on voters without solving whatever problem the state has with voter fraud or errors.

Every Kansas secretary of state has “a mandate” to take reasonable steps to ensure the security, accuracy and integrity of Kansas elections. Requiring voters to show proof of citizenship when registering will be an inconvenience for voters and an added expense for county election officers, but if Kobach’s office can demonstrate that proving citizenship and showing an ID at the polls are both necessary and effective steps to ensure the integrity of Kansas elections, most Kansas voters probably would go along.

However, that case has not been made. Kobach has said that about three dozen election irregularities reported in the last 12 years indicate there are bigger election problems in the state. That may be true, but let’s take steps to confirm that speculation before taking steps to address whatever specific voting problems the state is facing.


PalinPalms 7 years, 4 months ago

Oh Pleezze, Clearly there is voter fraud I mean just this year I saw people voting who were most obviously not Americans, (pleezze what kind of American would name their child Jesus). And I swear it was even worse when I went over and voted for my summer home address.

PalinPalms 7 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

wmathews 7 years, 4 months ago

Generally, if I find a user posting shortened or disguised links like tinyurls or bit.lys without explaining what the link leads to, I take it down.

PalinPalms 7 years, 4 months ago

bias from the lame stream media of course

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

So if Kobach actually investigates first, and finds that there really is no significant voter fraud, will he resign?

Not to worry. He won't bother with any investigations.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

So, are you saying that Kobach should go ahead and solve the problem without actually knowing what that problem is?

tomatogrower 7 years, 4 months ago

Since they won, and since voter fraud is so rampant, then that must mean they won through voter fraud, right?

verity 7 years, 4 months ago

Right. Let's demand an investigation of his election.

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Why not, bozo? He already got elected by people who don't even know what the Secretary of State job is.

Jimo 7 years, 4 months ago

Facts preceding policy? Apparently, you didn't get the GOP memo:

''That's not the way the world really works anymore, 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

As any Fox viewer knows well, the only facts that matter are the few that seem to support your views. By definition, contrary claims cannot be facts.

tomatogrower 7 years, 4 months ago

So they are openly owning up to it. Make everyone believe lies that support their opinions. I'm glad to say I don't go along lock step. I'm even angry with Obama for not stopping the loss of American jobs to foreign counties. Until that stops, we will never lower the unemployment rate. And there are no alternatives. I would be willing to vote for a candidate who refused to put any ads on TV. Who promised not to spend obscene amounts of money on his/her campaign. Who refused to take money from any corporation that has sent jobs out of the country, and whose main goal is to work for the American people, not to work to win the next election, or to make sure that someone else loses the next election. I'm more worried about politician fraud, than I am about voter fraud. But I don't see many politicians who aren't caught up in this win at any cost or any lie crud. And the Tea Party isn't the answer. They follow along lock step behind whatever their pundits tell them, even when they are proven to be outright liars. Who cares about the economy, the Republicans goals are to get Obama out of office. Who cares about health care, the Democrats just want to win back the House. This isn't a football game people. There are real problems that need to be solved and all anyone wants to do is win elections.

voevoda 7 years, 4 months ago

So Kobach is already spending money the state of Kansas can ill-afford on a problem that scarcely exists. (Remember that "dead" voter Kobach identified during the campaign who proved to be alive and well and voting legally?) Meanwhile, he's still chasing after the national spotlight, selling other states on Arizona-type illegal immigrant laws. He gets paid big bucks for his "expertise." (Read law review articles--he wrote very few--and you'll see why "expertise" is in quotation marks.) These laws cost millions of dollars to defend (more money for Kobach), and even more millions to enforce (more money for private prisons). Meanwhile, Brownback is talking about cutting funding for our public schools. What's more important: teaching our children to be well-informed voters, or chasing after (maybe) a half-dozen individuals who voted when they weren't entitled to?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

" and even more millions to enforce (more money for private prisons). "

Yea, now instead of having these illegal immigrants do all the jobs nobody else wants to do for cheap, we'll be paying to keep them in a new system of gulags built especially for them.

Success 7 years, 4 months ago

How much money is the state of Kansas going to spend investigating the "problem of voter fraud" How will this cost support the new Gov's plans to rein in wasteful spending? Will Kobach propose a way to pay for the cost of his bill? Poll tax?

camper 7 years, 4 months ago

3 dozen irregularities in the past 12 years is an average of 12 per year. Furthermore, voter fraud is an additional leap form an irregularity. Of these 3 dozen, I believe none have proven to be fraudulent. I would assume they were probably explained as name recognition for people with similar names ie John Smith etc. And perhaps people who have moved but were unsure where the correct voting booth was.

Considering the penalties, it is hard to imagine any one in their right mind would attempt voter fraud because there is almost no benefit. Most criminals are interested in money.

In addition, it would take a large scale conspiracy to convince enough people to band together and vote fraudulently. I just cannot see this happening without atleast one link in the conspiracy to be caught thus exposing the plot.

Now here is the concept that should be focused on (which I'm sure there are already controls in place). This is Election fraud. This is where a threat can be, and it would include things like ballot box stuffing, illegal counts. This stuff is higher up on the chain. Didn't Joe Kennedy buy off some voting districts to get JFK elected? This would be disappointing if true. But once again fraud, if commited, will not be done at the lowest levels by individual voters. It will come from the bigger fish.

Kobach can't seem to see things in scale here. And these are the kind of people who you need to watch out for and avoid if they are in an organization. They are obsessed with the pennies, but don't watch the dollars.

And by the way, this guy got elected because he had an (R) by his name. Not because there is a mandate to require voter id's. I think.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Actually, 3 dozen in 12 years would mean 3/year - 3 x 12= 3 dozen.

12/year over 12 years would be 144 - 12 x 12=144.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

@Jimo: re your 1000

I think your quote is about 6 years old. I found it in a 17 Oct 2004 Ron Suskind piece in the NY Times Magazine. Here's a link to it.

Nonetheless. The past two elections have been inundated with false facts, fear mongering, racial epithets and so on. Most of these have come from the Republicans or Tea Baggers. Even when talking with someone espousing those views and showing them where they're wrong I still find the majority of them believe the falsehoods. The Conservatives have in fact created their own reality ("I reject your reality and substitute my own.") within which we all must live.

Kobach's "Voter Fraud" mandate is a paper tiger filled with all sorts of falsehoods and hidden expenses designed to prevent people from voting. I said that on another thread, and nobody bothered to refute it. So, what I said must fit right into Kobach's reality.

Mr_B9 7 years, 4 months ago

I think preventing voter fraud is worthy of looking into. However, with that said, showing photo ID does not solve the problem. Who is to say that an illegal resident does not go to another state, acquire a drivers license, (because this state does not check to see if your legal or not) come back to Kansas and vote. Polling stations will only look to see the ID and if your on the list. Secondly, there currently are people registered to vote in Kansas and other states. Why? Because property tax records have not been purged. Kris does not need to prove if there has been voter fraud, his job is to ensure there will be no voter fraud. So let him do his job as he sees fit. He just so happens to be the one who was elected. BTW, voting is a privilege which should be protected and not a tool for cheaters to win.

verity 7 years, 4 months ago

"He just so happens to be the one who was elected."

But if there's so much voter fraud, was he really?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

"Who is to say that an illegal resident does not go to another state, acquire a drivers license, (because this state does not check to see if your legal or not) come back to Kansas and vote."

That makes absolutely no sense. If there is a photo ID requirement, showing a Missouri (or whatever state) ID isn't going to do one whit of good for voting in Kansas.

Mr_B9 7 years, 4 months ago

It doesn't mean you didn't just move here Bozo and registered to vote. Here is a link to the registration form. Read notice to first time voters.

"That makes absolutely no sense. If there is a photo ID requirement, showing a Missouri (or whatever state) ID isn't going to do one whit of good for voting in Kansas."

Hopefully your right Bozo but the way it is right now it would not really matter.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

It is a right of American citizens, not non-citizens.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

@Mr_B9: re your 13111.

You said, " is a privilege which should be protected and not a tool for cheaters to win."

I beg to differ. Voting is a right, not a privilege. Purging property tax rolls will do nothing except eliminate the right of those who don't pay property tax to vote (renters, those without motor vehicles, both, etc.) I know many people in this town who fall into that category. Yet, they're US citizens. What you're advocating is a return to a poll tax which is unconstitutional (see the 24th Amendment to the US Constitution).

The second part of your statement says voting is/should not be, "a tool for cheaters to win." I agree with this part of your statement. However, who determines the cheaters. I call the cheaters as those who inundate the airwaves prior to an election with boldfaced lies and partial truths mixed into the Kool Aid they feed the masses. Those are the true cheaters Mr_B9. I think you know that. It strikes me that you call cheaters to be someone of whom you disapprove who wins any election. That puts you into the same camp as Tom. Simply to be disregarded or lanced and gotten rid of as you would a boil.

ralphralph 7 years, 4 months ago

Here's a problem: Millions of people are in our country illegally, and the Federal government has utterly failed to prevent or respond to the flood over the borders. Many of us would welcome nearly any step that the States can take to address symptoms of that problem or to force the Feds to step up and act. Go for it, Kobach.

deec 7 years, 4 months ago

Here's a question I wonder if any of the anti-illegal alien folks can answer. How have you, personally, been adversely impacted by illegal aliens?

Mr_B9 7 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Reed, There is no constitutional right to vote sir, therefore it is a privilege. However, for the sake of an argument we should be able to agree that voting is a responsibility.
I never implied there should be a "poll tax". What I tried to imply is that I know some folks who used to live in Lawrence. They moved out of state and registered to vote where they now reside. That was 4 years ago.They are still on the voting records for Lawrence and are listed by their old address. Purging the property tax roles would get those voters off the list. I am sure you agree if those individuals voted in more than one state, county or city that would constitute fraud. Is that not correct? Mr. Reed I never assigned a party nor a person to the cheater term, you did. So once again don't spin what I write and if I was a boil you chose to get rid of it would not end pretty for you. Spinning what I write makes you look foolish and stupid sir.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Do you have a source for the claim that there is no constitutional right to vote?

I would think there is one, in fact.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago


I'll have to do a little more research, but that is surprising to me, if it's true.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

@Mr_B9: re your 1532. For sake of argument, I agree that voting is a responsibility. A grave responsibility.

I didn't spin what you said. I read it as you saying only those paying property taxes should be allowed to vote and I responded accordingly. If what you say is true, then identify those people to the County Clerk and let them handle it. In fact, why haven't you done so before now?

I did not assign a party to the cheater term, you assumed I did in my response to you. I simply stated a fact earlier. If you choose to assign it to my response to you, then I can only assume I struck a nerve.

Do not threaten people here. It's bad form and you know it. The last person to do that was HWSNBN and you sound somewhat like him. I said, "Simply to be disregarded or lanced and gotten rid of as you would a boil." I stated how I consider what you say, nothing more, nothing less. Step back and think before you threaten people anonymously.

Mr_B9 7 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Reed, (1623) I am proud to say we can agree on voting being a grave responsibility but that appears to be where it will stop. I believe for the sake of an argument that you should not respond to my future posts sir nor will I yours. You clearly misunderstood and misread my original post, referenced me to be some other poster (HWSNBN), put me in a camp with some gentleman named Tom . "Simply to be disregarded or lanced and gotten rid of as you would a boil." I believe that was a threat on your behalf. You should not respond like that to folks if you don't want to hear their replies. I think it is you sir who should step back and think before stepping into the arena. Many a good day to you sir....

libra101 7 years, 4 months ago

Wow, you are a bully. Seems I'm not the only one to strike a nerve. Taking things to personally is bad for your health.

Mr_B9 7 years, 4 months ago

Rikki, Wow, I bet your not referring to the Merriam Websters definition of bully as "a fine chap" but rather the usual definition. I would say if I was a bully today it was certainly towards you. I realize now I was a little rough with some of our posts and for that I hope you can accept my apologies. I don't usually consider defending my posts with an abrasive attitude being a bully but perhaps I was. It is not in my nature nor my intention to hurt anyone. In regards to Mr. Reed I treated him with respect and feel like I responded to him directly. One last thing, you are correct when you said taking things to personally is bad for your health.

BigPrune 7 years, 4 months ago

70% voted for the M-T bus tax......Seriously?

What is so bad about showing a driver's license to vote?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

The question is why would any voter ID beyond a drivers license? Ot a Kansas ID card that can be obtained at the Drivers License bureau.

Kobach will be wasting a lot of taxpayer time and money so how can this man be a true fiscal conservative republican? He and Brownback are from the reckless spending Bushmobile.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Where is the voter fraud taking place exactly?

I have an idea.

Just to be sure there was no voter fraud let's do the election process one more time.

fancy80 7 years, 4 months ago

Can anyone explain why it is so objectionable to present a photo id and voter registration card when voting. I pulled both items out of my wallet when I voted. I really don't understand why people are objecting to this.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

@fancy80 That's not the point. Kobach is primarily calling for people to present proof of citizenship when registering to vote for the first time in a county by way of a birth certificate or passport. Copies of both of these cost money which some people just do not have.

Is he going to have the state pay these expenses if people need them? If not, then he is denying people the right / privilege / responsibility to vote. That is what he's calling for.

Further, he's calling for that proof the first time someone registers in a county. That means, on the face of it, if you move to another county, you'll have to provide that proof all over again.

ralphralph 7 years, 4 months ago

People are too mobile and numerous for us to all know each other personally these days (in most places, anyway). How, when you move to another county, are the election officials there to know whether you are qualified to vote? Voting is not a right afforded to "people", but to "citizens". Lacking some other way for election officials to determine your eligibility to vote, some reasonable means of identification seems quite necessary and reasonable.

Mr_B9 7 years, 4 months ago

ralphralph (anonymous) says… "some reasonable means of identification seems quite necessary and reasonable."

Indeed it does seem necessary and reasonable.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Mr_B9 seems to be correct.

According to some research, there is no federally protected constitutional right to vote! One cannot be denied the right based on certain criteria - gender, etc., but states have the right to determine "qualified" individuals to vote if the criteria doesn't violate those standards.

Seems outrageous!

monkeyhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Imagine going through life without anything to prove you are who you think you are. But, I'll bet even the least resourceful among us can pop out some ID if it means getting something free.

EarlFGlynn 7 years, 4 months ago

What about some checks and balances on the "inactive voters" in the state?

Federal law forces voting lists to become bloated because of a very slow removal process that ties the hands of county clerks and election commissioners in removing voters from the lists.

Kansas had about 138,000 inactive voters in Sept. 2010. Mail cannot be delivered to the mailing addresses of these inactive voters, but if they show up to vote they are treated just like any other voter. We don't know their address, and no questions are asked before voting?

Statistics from past elections suggest about 1% of inactive voters vote in August primaries and perhaps 10% vote in a November general elections. These inactive voters with unknown addresses can in many cases be voting in the wrong "district" races, like State Rep, State Senator, or other local contests.

These inactive voter lists are ripe for fraud especially in urban areas where anyone could vote for an inactive voter with no check and balance to even catch the problem. We don't check for the problem, and we have almost no way to detect the problem. Why not force an inactive voter to vote provisionally and verify their address and voting precinct and districts? Or why not require a photo ID that is more likely to be updated than the voter lists?

Federal law provides "integrity" of federal elections while risking integrity in local district elections. If you live in a particular district, why should someone that doesn't live in that district be allowed to vote when the election office doesn't have a valid mailing address for the voter?

Inactive voters never change an election?

What about the 2-vote win by Gene Rardin in Kansas House District 16 in 2006? Several of the inactive and contested voters mentioned in the law suit about that election never lived in District 16 to vote again, and likely didn't live there when they voted in 2006. The court ignored the issue.

Two "inactive" voters voted in the August 2010 primary election in Missouri House District 40 from a house condemned by Kansas City, MO as a "dangerous building." Missouri courts ignored those two challenged voters in that state rep race decided by a single vote:

Inactive voters with unknown addresses can make a difference in close local elections. Shouldn't we all care about fixing this?

Problems with incompatible data between voter lists and election results make statistical analysis of elections quite difficult. Now it's almost impossible to check by precinct whether more voted than were registered without contacting all the county clerks for the codes used for voter precincts and how those codes match the ones used for election results. We can't even look for voter fraud very effectively now.

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