Archive for Monday, October 18, 2010

Brownback, Kobach call for voter identification requirement

A Douglas County resident casts his advance ballot Monday at the Douglas County Courthouse. Kansas Republican candidates Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach say that if elected they will push through legislation that would require people to show a photo ID to vote.

A Douglas County resident casts his advance ballot Monday at the Douglas County Courthouse. Kansas Republican candidates Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach say that if elected they will push through legislation that would require people to show a photo ID to vote.

October 18, 2010


— As the deadline passed Monday for people to register to vote in the general election, Republican gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback and GOP secretary of state candidate Kris Kobach vowed, if elected, to push through laws that would require people to show a photo ID to vote.

Democratic candidates for those offices -- Tom Holland and Chris Biggs -- said the proposal was unnecessary, costly and would burden elderly Kansans and people with disabilities.

“You have to present a photo ID to cash a check written against your own account,” argued Kobach. “It's perfectly reasonable to ask for the same safeguards when voting,” he said.

Brownback also said he supports requiring proof of citizenship when registering to vote. “This will help reduce instances of voter fraud,” Brownback said.

Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, and Biggs, the incumbent secretary of state, said voter fraud is not a problem in Kansas.

“This is a solution in search of a problem,” said Holland. “The largest threat to the integrity of our elections would be career politicians placing additional – and expensive - barriers between voters and the ballot box. This burden would be especially hard on the elderly, the poor and the disabled,” he said.

The League of Women Voters agrees with Holland’s assessment in opposing ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements.

The league says that based on surveys 11 percent of adult Americans, including more than one-third of people over the age of 75, don’t have a photo ID.

Biggs said Kobach couldn’t be trusted with running fair elections, and pointed to the time Kobach, while serving as chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, sent out a fundraising e-mail in which he boasted “to date the Kansas Republican Party has caged more voters in the past 11 months than the previous two years.”

Caging voters is a term generally used to describe a way to suppress voting in predominantly minority districts that tend to vote for Democrats. After the e-mail went out, state Republican Party officials said they used the “caged” term to describe efforts to identify voters and their views on certain issues.

Holland also noted that photo ID laws have generated numerous lawsuits in the states where they have been approved.

“We shouldn’t put Kansas on the same road to failure by wasting taxpayer dollars on expensive and unnecessary litigation,” he said.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years ago

“You have to present a photo ID to cash a check written against your own account,” argued Kobach. “It's perfectly reasonable to ask for the same safeguards when voting,” he said

No, Mr Kobach, I do not have to present my photo IID at the bank,

“This is a solution in search of a problem,” said Holland. To that I would say "Amen"

Forget these two Republicans, one is running for President of the U.S. and the other is running to replace Phil Kline as idiot-in-chief in the state attorney general's race.

And this is Brownback and Kobach searching for yet another "secret doner" to buy more stupid and vicious attack ads.

63BC 6 years ago

Where to begin?

Kobach is running for Secretary of State, not Attorney General.

It is spelled "donor."

Neither of them has run a single negative commercial in this election.

And according to exhaustive published research by John Pfund of the Wall Street Journal voter fraud is prevalent in the United States.

Apart from that, the previous post seems entirely factual...

Joe Blackford II 6 years ago

I believe you meant John Fund's book, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, released in 2004. Opinion appears to still be out on its accuracy/inaccuracies.

I'm not sure I'd say something is prevalent, when so few Kansans turn out to vote in many elections.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"Kobach is running for Secretary of State, not Attorney General."

I assume that is directed to Mr. Kobach, who seems to be confused about which office he is running for.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"And according to exhaustive published research by John Pfund of the Wall Street Journal voter fraud is prevalent in the United States."

WTF does that even mean?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Aside from the fact that there is extensive research that indicates the exact opposite, it helps a lot.

sparky1958 6 years ago

No eigh O Tinky??? I am sooooo disappointed

parrothead8 6 years ago

Well, at least you recognize that this voter ID requirement Brownback and Kobach want to make into law is negative news.

parrothead8 6 years ago

“You have to present a photo ID to cash a check written against your own account,” argued Kobach.

Shows how behind the times this guy is...checks are on their way out. Everybody uses debit cards now.

lllwll 6 years ago

I do not agree with Biggs and Holland.

I voted today and was ready to show ID to show who I was. I stood there waiting at the window for about 5 min; two clerks were at their cpu ignoring me until I said "hello".

The instructions I received was to fill out the form with my name and address. Print your name and then sign on the line.

They ask if I still lived at the adress they had.

I said yes.

My point is that you can use any name and address by looking at voters info on line and do it as often as you want.

Thinking_Out_Loud 6 years ago

"Can" and "Do" are entirely different things there, Illwll. I can stand on one foot and say the alphabet backwards, but I don't do it.

Here is the bottom line, IMO. American citizens have a fundamental right to vote in elections occuring in their districts. They may not be disenfranchised without due process of law. In other words, to prevent a citizen from voting, the government must prove in a court of law that the citizen is not entitled to cast a ballot for whatever reason. A voter ID law will disenfranchise citizens without the government proving that they are not entitled to vote.

The arguments of having to show ID to cash a check at your local grocer, rent a hotel room, get on a plane, drive a car, etc. are all red herrings. None of these activities are equivalent to the government denying you a fundamental right. A more accurate analogy would be "Showing an ID when you go vote would be akin to showing an ID to a government agent to practice your religion or to get permission to exercise your right to free speech."

BlackVelvet 6 years ago

Personally, I highly value my right to vote. Therefore, I do not have any problem with providing identification. I think it should be mandatory.

MyName 6 years ago

Why do you think it should be mandatory? There is no compelling reason for it. From what I can tell the only reason half these people agree with Kobach is because he's got an "R" by his name.

There have been hundreds of years worth of elections without requiring an ID, why do we need to start now?

olddognewtrix 6 years ago

This is one of the dumbest and most unintelligent comments I have read in a long time.Either a dumb ass or a paranoid right wing nut

Sean Livingstone 6 years ago

I'm not trying to disprove anything. How many voters' fraud are there in Kansas or actually in other states? Very few. But this has become such a big issue during election that all candidates treat it like it's the only issue that we need to solve. This is a good distraction from the real agendas.

BlackVelvet 6 years ago

whether there is voter fraud or not would be hard to prove. But do you claim none exists? And why do you feel the need for name calling because they have an opinion that differs from yours?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

" I do see a raccoon that is too lazy to google ACORN voter fraud,"

That must include you. Because if you did so, and read all of the links, you'd find out that ACORN has been exonerated on pretty much everything Fox and little Fox Tinkies like you have fabricated simply because you don't like it that brown people vote, and vote in a way you don't like.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

And let me guess, it was voter registration fraud, not voter fraud. And in nearly every case, it was a result of ACORN self-reporting.

booyalab 6 years ago

Nanny state policies are protectionist laws with far-reaching consequences that inconvenience everyone for their own good. Voter ID is basic crime prevention that only inconveniences criminals. Not the same at all.

MyName 6 years ago

Why do I need to produce a photo ID to prove that I am who I say I am? There are other safeguards in check to assure that the votes are legit. They've worked for hundreds of years. You shouldn't need a driver's license or a state sanctioned ID to be able to exercise your right to vote. And a little card in your wallet isn't going to do as much to prevent fraud as having people watching the polls and keeping track of where all the ballots go so no one slips in a few thousand extra for their candidate.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

There could be quite a few people who do not have drivers licenses or know how to get a state ID. At one time, we had to show voter registration cards. The card was directly related to it's use. No confusion.

I do not really have an opinion on whether or not an ID should be required at the voting booth. With all the issues facing Kansas right now, this issue, if it is an issue, is very low on my priority list.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

You are probably correct. I just do not want to treat it as an issue for this election. There has been no debate/thought process.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 12 months ago

It's not against the law, but it can be inconvenient to not have a picture ID.

MyName 6 years ago

I agree, it is just you. Why don't you find a someplace else to troll your useless opinions at.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

Let's refrain from personal attacks. Your comment adds nothing to the dialog.

Viking2 6 years ago

The Star did an analysis of voters who cast suspicious ballots, including nursing home residents, parents voting for a college student, etc. Many suspicious ballots appeared to be related to advanced voting, where the voter received the ballot by mail, not voters showing up to vote at the polls in person. That election problem should be solved first. How would those individuals show proof of identify if the total transaction takes place by mail?

Most who believe there is election fraud appeared to be worried about non-residents. If these "aliens" wanted vote, which few do, the "aliens" would know how to obtain a photo ID.

The only true ID card that would work would be a national ID, one containing some sort of electronic chip. However, those pushing for voter IDs to prevent people sneaking in to vote (think mild paranoid) also do not want big brother to know what they are doing. (think major paranoid).

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

While I do not mind a voter ID law, the reasons these to are choosing this as a campaign issue makes me sick.

They know ID laws mostly effect the poor and they are pandering to the hysterical right who have nightmares about thousands of illegal immigrants voting even though there is no evidence that is happening at all.

Meaning, these candidates are wasting time and money on this issue and ignoring the things that are really a problem.

I would rather have a candidate of action, not of pandering. Kobach and Brownback are worthless to society. You know, I never really supported or agreed with Bob Dole, but I always respected him. He followed his convictions, seldom pandered and focused on the important issues. I do not respect Kobach or Brownback, they are simply goofballs pandering to the extreme.

Jonathan Becker 6 years ago

Kobach's own bank does not trust him, requiring him to produce his papers, please. Not a strong endorsement.

Maddy Griffin 6 years ago

Can we afford to spend state monies on finding solutions for problems that don't exist? Find a REAL platform to run on Regurgicans.Something obvious, not made up.

Kontum1972 6 years ago

u still have to show ID when u cash checks or use a credit what else is new..? i have to show ID when i come to work everyday...for the past 30 years......No.....BIG Deal...!

bd 6 years ago

About time we tightened up on voter fraud!

Tea anyone?????

MyName 6 years ago

Why is it "about time" the problem doesn't exist in Kansas.

WakeUpKansans 6 years ago

I am a Kansan. I am dumb and I am delusional. There are no narco-terrorists invading our US borders, and there are no Islamo-terrorists bombing and slaughtering innocent people all over the world.

In fact, America is not in peril (our troops are on a boondoggle in Afghanistan and Iraq), and there are no factions in the US pandering to those who break the law with impunity.

Now, why in Heaven’s name would I think that there is such a thing as voter fraud in Kansas -- or expect to show my ID to verify my right to vote?

Oh yeah, I forgot. I am a Kansan. I am dumb and I am delusional.

WHY 6 years ago

Republicans want these rules because poor people are the least likely to be able to comply with them. This is an old issue. If Republicans thought they could actually use voter fraud to win elections then they would.

topeka52 6 years ago

Why do you say this will impact poor people more than others, poor people still have to have a valid ID for many day to day activities, say driving a car. What I worry about more than edlerly or the poor is the ability of our troops and families who are stationed over seas or in a combat zone making sure that their votes get counted and not swept under the rug.

WHY 6 years ago

If you don't have a car you do not need a license.

jjt 6 years ago

Voter ID is one thing, but I am more interested in actual voter fraud. Fraud is different to the odd mistake across a state. So is this the start of a National thing. There are those who trumpet "look out, look out there be voter fraud" but locally I do not think so, even Kansas City probably not. Is this actually more a political thing rather than a practical thing. Thus before you post a political rant please provide an actual case of voter fraud even regionally, not nationally but locally. There is nothing wrong with asking for ID as long as everyone who is allowed to vote has ID What is good for an ID? Driving license?, many older folk do not have one, Passport? relatively speaking not many Americans have Passports. Then there are those who are transient or homeless. Do they not get to vote? Should the state introduce ID cards, just a thought '-))
It is very easy to sit in the stand and tell Coach what they should be doing, come up with a real problem first, then a practical solution. After all I thought the Republican / Tea party wanted less govt.

mbulicz 6 years ago

Want to help election validity?

Inspect and regulate the electronic voting machines.

Currently a slot machine has to undergo more scrutiny than a voting machine. See:

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

I, for one, have not forgot that the DEIBOLD machines were manufactured by a GOP Campaigner who in fact promised to deliver Ohio to George Bush and suddenly, during the elections, the deibold machines in Ohio acted up and started spewing out over-votes largly benefiting the GOP.

think_about_it 6 years ago

So how would you feel if you went to vote and found out that someone had already cast your ballot? It has happened to me. I went to the poll in the '94 elections only to find a signature that was not mine next to my name. I was allowed to cast a provisional ballot that I still do not know to this day if it counted or not. Really, what is the big deal to just prove you are who you say?

MyName 6 years ago

An anecdote from 16 years ago isn't enough to show that we need to change the way we handle voting in this state. You act like the people who want less government intervention are the ones who need to prove their case.

There isn't any voter fraud to speak of in Kansas so there's no compelling reason to change. On the other hand, you would be disenfranchising all kinds of people who don't want to get a photo ID. This includes old people, poor people, Amish people, people who decided to leave their wallet at home or in the car on election day, and this is like one of the core rights as an American. I mean you aren't allowed to give people literacy tests or make them pay a tax in order to vote, and now you're basically saying it's a good idea to have some other way to bar people from voting.

booyalab 6 years ago

How is simply asking to see someone's easily obtainable piece of plastic with their picture on it, when they participate in the PUBLIC process of voting, an example of government intervention? The only intervention that occurs is the rare chance of the citizen to intervene in government. It's an opportunity we're fortunate to have in this country and it's not asking much for people to prove that they're not participating more than is just or right.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

Requiring an ID would eliminate low income democrat votes.

ralphralph 6 years ago

I don't buy that. You generally need photo ID to reap the best and most Government benefits, and low income Democrat voters are experts at that. I'm not being mean, but just telling it like it is. I know people who can tell you every public benefit you can get, when the next cheese is coming, and all that jazz, and they, by golly, have their photo ID ready to go in and grab the dole.

The false issue is, claiming that having a photo ID is some kind of hardship. It's just not.

booyalab 6 years ago

For all the people who keep insisting that voter ID requirements depress voter turnout. They don't.

If anything, it helps turnout. Look it up.

"(voter) Turnout was higher in states that took a simple step to prevent fraud."

"Both trial judges in the Indiana and Georgia cases rejected as incredible and utterly unreliable the claim that there were hundreds of thousands of voters without photo ID. In two years of litigation, lawyers were unable, as the Indiana judge noted, to introduce “evidence of a single, individual Indiana resident who will be unable to vote” as a result of the photo-ID law. In Georgia, the ACLU sent out a desperate e-mail asking their contacts to find an individual who could not vote because of the voter-ID requirement — but they could not find one."

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