Archive for Sunday, October 10, 2010

Election fraud issue focus of debate

October 10, 2010


— Republican secretary of state nominee Kris Kobach said Saturday night that Kansas should attack potential election fraud even if it’s not a big problem, while Democratic incumbent Chris Biggs accused the GOP challenger of trying to panic voters.

Kobach and Biggs spent much of their first debate arguing about the threat posed by election fraud, and whether it justifies new laws, such as a measure Kobach advocates to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. They also sparred over Kobach’s work on immigration issues in other states and whether he’d be a full-time secretary of state.

Biggs hopes voters keep him in office after he was appointed earlier this year to fill a vacancy. Kobach, a University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor, is a former state GOP chairman who helped draft Arizona’s new law on immigration.

They debated at the studios of KTWU, the public television station in Topeka, in front of an audience of about two dozen people. The program will be broadcast Oct. 20.

Kobach has made combatting election fraud a major issue of his campaign, while Biggs contends Kobach is exaggerating the problem.

The secretary of state’s office has said it’s received about three dozen reports of alleged election irregularities since 1998, including rare occasions of double voting and more frequent questions of whether nursing home administrators have filled in ballots for elderly residents. Kobach noted after the debate that many of the reports involved multiple ballots.

Kobach said even if irregularities are rare, the state should take reasonable precautions.

“Now, let’s just imagine that Mr. Biggs’ universe were the correct one and that voter fraud were not a significant reality in Kansas,” Kobach said. “That’s like saying, ‘Well, I live in a neighborhood, and we haven’t had any thefts for the past five years, so, you know what? It’s not a problem. I’m going to leave my doors unlocked at night. I’m going to leave the car in the driveway and leave the keys in the car.”’

Biggs said many of the allegations Kobach cites didn’t come with enough evidence to result in a prosecution.

The incumbent said after the debate that imposing new rules could decrease turnout among seniors or disabled voters. Kobach also advocates requiring people who register to vote for the first time to show proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate.

“He’s misrepresenting the facts,” Biggs said during the debate. “It’s an appeal very much like yelling fire in a crowded theater, and the hope is that people will run to the polls, and the concern is that good public policy gets trampled in the process.”

Biggs has held the job since March, named by Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson to replace Ron Thornburgh, a four-term Republican who resigned to take a private-sector job. A Democrat had last held the office in 1951.

Libertarian candidate Phillip Horatio Lucas, of El Dorado, and Reform Party nominee Derek Langseth, of Valley Center, also are on the Nov. 2 general election ballot, but they did not participate in Saturday’s debate.

Biggs attacked Kobach over his work outside Kansas on immigration, advising city officials and state legislators across the nation about cracking down on illegal immigration.

Kobach has said if he’s elected, he’ll do immigration work only in his spare time after working from 40 hours to 50 hours a week as secretary of state.

Biggs said Kobach would be only a part-time secretary of state.

“I’m committed to doing this job,” Biggs said. “The focus should be on doing the business of the office of the secretary of state.”

Kobach responded to Biggs’ criticism by noting that he’s a musician. Biggs plays banjo and guitar and has performed at music festivals.

“If I choose to defend American sovereignty rather than play the banjo in my spare time, I think that’s my prerogative,” Kobach said.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"Kobach has made combatting election fraud a major issue of his campaign, while Biggs contends Kobach is exaggerating the problem."

He's not exaggerating the problem. He's creating it out of whole cloth.

geekyhost 7 years, 6 months ago

"Protect us from voter fraud" = dog whistling about ethnic voters actually showing up at the polls. Just see Shewmon's rambling to see how this plays to the base.

Viking2 7 years, 6 months ago

I would suggest a study. The political parties are allow by law to establish rules for their membes to vote in their own primaries. The Republicans and Democrats currently have different rules. Mr. Kobach should have his own party adopt the ideal voter identification law and implement the policy for one or two election cycles for Republican voters. Two cycles would be sufficient to get the rough edges removed and prove what a voter identification policy can do. Then the Legislature could adopt the policy for the general elections.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"anyone could vote in my stead."

But why would they do that? There's literally nothing to be gained by it, while the likelihood of getting caught is rather high.

geekyhost 7 years, 6 months ago

In order to truly influence an election, you'd need droves and droves of fraudulent voters. Most elections aren't decided on ten or twenty votes. That's a heck of a recruitment drive and far beyond the capacity of any voter registration drives from a renter's rights group, no matter what the tin foil hat brigade on Fox would say. Plus you'd need to know that they'd actually voted as you'd instructed them. You could send in an army of ineligible voters all bribed with wads of cash, and you still couldn't be sure that they voted the way you wanted once they got that secret ballot, and if you've got the same person voting multiple times, chances are they'll be caught before you can give an evil "mwahahaha!" at your not-so-clever plan.

No, it's far more efficient and likely that true, election swaying voting fraud would take place with either rigged machines or stuffed ballot boxes.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

"you know what? It’s not a problem. I’m going to leave my doors unlocked at night. I’m going to leave the car in the driveway and leave the keys in the car.”’ said Kobach

Yes, I would hate to live in that neighborhood. Why would anyone want to live like that?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

Kobach as a typical republican wants to avoid issues.

The fraud is Kobach.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"since they're the main culprits (ACORN). "

And repeating that lie doesn't bother you at all, even though every legitimate investigation that's been done has shown it to be a lie.

Now that's lame (not to mention that it demonstrates that you're a real lowlife.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

Since your only "news" comes from Fox, I'm not surprised at your ignorance. But, sadly, it's a consciously chosen ignorance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

Civil discourse can never include resorting to the continual repetition of misinformation, disinformation and outright lies.

But I'm not surprised that Your Trollness doesn't understand that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

No, lies are lies.

But as I said, I understand that your cognitive impairment means that you don't know a lie when it happens. You appear to prefer them.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 6 months ago

Oh yeah, the Black Panther intimidation where not one person has come forward to claim that they were prevented from voting and the video where you can watch people enter the polling place behind said Panthers.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 6 months ago

Lies not only do not bother Tom Showman, but they are his forte, he lives off them. Without lies, he would be totally without substance.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

Then why are you discussing it?

Where in Kansas is ACORN propagating voter fraud that Kobach needs to eradicate?

In Pittsburg? In Syracuse?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

D-Kelly Kultala 15,184 52.3 % R-Steve Fitzgerald 13,838 47.6 %

OMG, there were 1,300 fraudulent votes!

Great argument, chump.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"That is why it is so important to get Kris Kobach into the Sec State office to bring honesty back to our elections."

Yea, he'll keep those dishonest brown people from voting.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

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

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 6 months ago

Do you really need to ask. He's been spewing the same bunch of debunked urban legends since Obama was elected and proof otherwise has been handed to him repeatedly. If Beck didn't say it, it must be a lie!

ralphralph 7 years, 6 months ago

Clarification, please: Did the Libertarian and Reform Party candidates "not participate" by their own choice, or were they excluded by the debate sponsor? There's a difference, and I'm interested in knowing which it was.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

It is also about your monsters under the bed and coven of witches.

Kobach's first order of business if elected will be to attempt to raise the Terror Threat in Kansas to RED due to rampant voter fraud.

jimmyjms 7 years, 6 months ago

This whole thing would be funny if it weren't for Kansans history of voting against their own best interest.

OK Shewmon, tinky and the rest: let's see some evidence of voter fraud.

Obviously, there will be none.

This is what the GOP has become, xenophones, anti-masterbation witches, and nazi-dress up parties. And they'll win.

Woo. Hoo.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

" TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) replies…

And let's not forget Sedgewick county. Wherever there is a high concentration of blacks, there is voter fraud."

Anyone have a word to describe this? Anyone? Anyone at all?

I can't believe the ljworld allows this on their website.

Wait, here it is again.

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) replies…

Wherever there is a high concentration of blacks, there is voter fraud.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

Your posts are getting progressively and bizarrely more meaningless.

But not to worry. You're not becoming the least bit "progressive."

Mike Ford 7 years, 6 months ago

when kansas gets dumb enough all bets to get elected are off.... Herr Kobach will eventually slip up and say, " Spriechen zie Deutch oslander? then we will see the true german socialist right? even Germany has enough sense to outlaw the garbage that's similar to Kobach's rants in that country... there he would be considered a rascist by the German Government. Oh well....

BigPrune 7 years, 6 months ago

An 18 year old has to show their i.d. if they buy a pack of cigarettes. A 21 year old has to show their i.d. if they want to buy a bottle of booze. A person showing their i.d. in order to vote is voter suppression? gimme a break.

geekyhost 7 years, 6 months ago

You don't have a fundamental right to either booze or cigarettes.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

TinkyWinky (anonymous) replies…

ACORN and Kultala (D) 5th District and on the ticket with Holland for Governor. Voting irregularities in Wyandotte county in 2008 shifted the election from Fitzgerald (R) to Kultala with just enough last minute votes from the last two precincts in Wyandotte county.

2008 Results, 5th District, Kansas State Senate D-Kelly Kultala 15,184 52.3 % R-Steve Fitzgerald 13,838 47.6 %

I believe a fraud has been discovered... "Just enough last minute votes"? This election wasn't close.

But of course, all those votes from WY were frauds, because they were all black folk, right?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

You're a fraud. "Just enough last minute votes."

Fraud. That election wasn't close.

Mike Ford 7 years, 6 months ago

gee tinky blinky, you sure know a lot about fascism, what gives??? did you learn about your people from 1980 to 1988, or 2000 to 2008? Germany bans all of the skinhead stuff from here that people try to take back to Germany. Nice to know they exported most of their xenophobes here.

pea 7 years, 6 months ago

ralph, that question is the first that came to my mind too.

Candidates so easily get suckered into participating in certain arguments, thereby giving credence to discussions they claimed were inconsequential. From this article it seems Biggs allowed Kobach to create this focus instead of steering the debate towards whatever issues he deemed relevant. Feeding the troll?

BTW, I certainly think you should have to show ID to vote. It is rather important, is it not? I have to show my ID to take a math test and I'm the only one that affects.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 6 months ago

You and Tinky Winky need to get back to Teletubby land. Dipsy and Po want their idiots back.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 6 months ago

This is what the Republicans do. They have NO solutions to the problems at hand so they invent new problems and try to put fear in all of us."Irag has WMD's" ring a bell? Acorn has been cleared, The Black Panthers didn't do anything but protect the right to vote for African-Americans in that district, and Eric Holder doesn't have time for BS. Get a clue.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 6 months ago

Sure, except for all across Kansas people live in communities where they leave their doors unlocked at night, leave their cars in the driveway and leave their keys in the car.

All across Kansas.

Olympics 7 years, 6 months ago

The median age of FOX News viewers is over 65. The average age of conservative talk radio listeners is 67.

"Tiiiiiiime is on our side. Yes it is."

Olympics 7 years, 6 months ago

Mark Kirk Sends Poll Monitors To 'Vulnerable,' Largely African-American Neighborhoods

In a private phone conversation that was secretly recorded, Mark Kirk, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Illinois, told state Republican leaders last week about his plan to send "voter integrity" squads to four predominately African American neighborhoods of Chicago "where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat."

Kirk's campaign confirmed the candidate was secretly taped last week as he was talking about his anti-voter fraud effort.

"These are lawyers and other people that will be deployed in key, vulnerable precincts, for example, South and West sides of Chicago, Rockford, Metro East, where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat," he said in the audio posted on YouTube.

As TPMMuckraker has reported, accusations from conservatives that ineligible voters are fraudulently stealing elections for Democrats have continued to fly in the 2010 campaign cycle, despite the lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud. "Voter fraud" has been the rally cry for conservative groups seeking to make it more difficult to cast ballots and suppress minority voter turnout. In particular this election cycle, Tea Party groups have taken up the issue, and Democratic groups have called for assurances that poll watchers trained by such groups are clear on polling station rules.

Talking Points Memo tried to reach the Kirk campaign when the audio emerged last week on the blog ArchPundit to confirm its authenticity, but we did not hear back. Blogger Larry Handlin told TPM he promised not to give away information about the source, but said it was recorded on Monday or Tuesday of last week.

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