Letters to the Editor

Power play

April 20, 2011


To the editor:

Surely I am not the only one in Kansas that understands Kris Kobach and his true reasoning for trying to impose extra expense and inconvenience on Kansas voters in the name of finding fraud. The real explanation for his complicated voter ID plan is to discourage young people, who tend to be Democrats, and the working class, who also tend to be Democrats, from voting at all.

It’s his bid to become Gov. Brownback’s Carl Rove. He also plans to intimidate the Hispanic vote. The Republican party can offer nothing to appeal to these groups, and the poll tax, which served the South to keep the blacks from voting, was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. So this is a new poll tax disguised by lies regarding its intent.

Kobach knows that Kansas is to be used as a platform for Brownback to make a run for the White House. If that should happen and Brownback should succeed he could go along and be in the role of Carl Rove. Both have Potomac fever. The only cure is a huge dose of more power.


Benjamin Roberts 7 years ago

"The real explanation for his complicated voter ID plan is to discourage young people, who tend to be Democrats, and the working class, who also tend to be Democrats, from voting at all."

Are you sure that showing picture identification (drivers license, state issued ID, etc.) is beyond a democrat voter's mental capacity? That just seems like a very mean-spirited thing to say. But, if you felt it had to be said ... better you than me.

Scott Drummond 7 years ago

He didn't say it was beyond those potential voters' mental capacity, he said the requirement would discourage their actual voting. There is nothing mean spirited in such a statement. There are many ways in which these voting requirements act to discourage certain groups from voting. It makes more sense to address those issues, rather than attributing false claims to the writer.

rtwngr 7 years ago

C'mon, what do you expect us bigots to do? Stand in front of the polls wearing para-military garb brandishing a club? Voter I.D.'s discourage Democrat voters? Really? You can support these assertions how? Just a reminder, you know illegal aliens aren't suppose to vote anyway. Yes, I mean illegal. Not undocumented but illegal, federal law breaking, non citizens.

jafs 7 years ago

If undocumented voters were really a problem in KS, I would expect that the Republicans wouldn't keep winning the elections.

Scott Drummond 7 years ago

If the extra fumbling and procedure adds 20 seconds to each voters checking in, that extra delay is multiplied over and over again and results in longer lines and more waiting. The working class voter is less able to wait through delays and therefore is more likely to skip voting so that he may go to work, pick up children in daycare, etc. There is a disparate impact on Democratic voters that is not lost on these right wingers.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

Two points - democrats are not the only ones that work, republicans work too. Plus, have you really seen long lines at the polls? Many are like ghost towns begging for someone to come in to vote.

oldvet 7 years ago

Sure, it's really going to slow down the 13% who actually show up to vote... when I went to the polls there were exactly 0 people in line and 0 people in the booths voting... And young people won't vote because they have to show their ID?! As when they order an alcoholic beverage in a restaurant, or go into a bar, or buy beer or smokes at the store, or try to write a check? Nothing but pure BS from the left...

notanota 7 years ago

13% for a local city election. Turnout is higher for national elections, and yes, I've had to stand in line for those. Young people don't vote much anyway, but having an extra step to get to the polls will, indeed, suppress turnout. It's not just showing ID. You need to show a birth certificate to register for the first time, if I recall correctly.

jaywalker 7 years ago

Oh please, scott. Delays? Vote much? With less than a quarter of the population participating I highly doubt any procedure is gonna throw a monkey in the wrench. But I do love how you apparently believe the "working class voter" is the only one that has to worry about work, children in daycare, etc.. All those Republicans are unemployed and childless Et cetera.

Scott Drummond 7 years ago

Of course, low voter turnout is exactly what the right wingers plan for and desire. That way their motivated voters hold greater sway. When voter turnout is high, it tends to favor Democrats. Anything that can be done to guard against such an event and slow it down when it does happen is what they wish to accomplish.

Of course not all republicans are free of worry about getting to work, or day care, or family, but the right wing voting populace does tend to be old, childless, retired, unemployed (by circumstances) and in jobs that are not docked when late for work and therefore less impacted by such concerns. As such, any such restrictions on voting tend to favor the right wingers.

I don't expect many here will comprehend or acknowledge the validity of my position, but that will not stop me from stating it. The thoughtful among the readers here will evaluate and draw their own conclusions.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

Actually, high voter turnout in KS favors republicans since republicans outnumber democrats.

Part of the strategy of the republican party this last election was to get the vote out and hope for a high voter turnout. It worked and the dems lost all statewide elections.

And where do you come up with your demographics for right wing voting populace? It certainly doesn't fit with my perspection of right wingers. Just look at the far right legislators and it surely doesn't fit them.

jaywalker 7 years ago

Many here won't comprehend or acknowledge your position 'cuz it has NO validity. And one does not need to be "thoughtful" to seek out the supposed depth of your evaluation. Give us a break.
Low voter turnout is what we already have. Republicans don't have to do bupkiss to have that happen. And your "tendencies" of the "right wing voting populace" is utterly moronic. Lastly, there are NO "voting restrictions" period, let alone some mythical ones that "favor right wingers."

Whew, scott. There's more kaka here than you usually care to shovel.

Betty Bartholomew 7 years ago

Signs at the polls saying, "Please have your ID out and ready," would cut down on the fumbling.

When I lived in California and had to show ID to vote, it barely added any time at all. It takes less time to have your ID checked against the names on register than it does to fill out the ballot. Considering you're just waiting for a Joe Blow in front of you to get done and his booth to open up, what else are you doing during that time that's so important your ID can't be checked?

jaywalker 7 years ago

Young people and the working class will not vote at all because they would have to show an ID card? Huh. Then I guess they're not nearly engaged enough in the electoral process, wouldn't ya say? Show me a young person who's not clamoring for a driver's license by 15 or the droves of "working class" who don't already own one, please. Anybody that's got a job (legally) HAS to have an ID or at least a SS card. And young people don't vote 'cuz they generally don't give a rat's rear.

jaywalker 7 years ago

Right. No problem here. And with how many million illegals living in pseudo-status is that gonna last? Hmm. Which would be better: making certain that the inevitable issue never becomes a problem or ignoring it until it does?

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

Oh please. No one ever stepped up and said, "I didn't vote because of the scary black men." I'm sure you might have wet yourself a little.

jafs 7 years ago

Really, defending that sort of thing?

It's clearly harassment, at least, and nothing that should be defended by anybody.

"Gotta kill some cracker babies"

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

Not defending anything. Nothing happened. Boo!

jafs 7 years ago

Have you looked at the video?

Harassment is defined as behavior intended to disturb or upset.

Standing outside a polling place with a bullhorn talking about how white folks are the enemy, and we need to kill some cracker babies fits that definition quite nicely.

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

Have YOU looked at the video. No bullhorn, no cracker babies. You're thinking of that thing FOX put together after the election.

jafs 7 years ago

I did in fact look at a video, through a link that was supplied by someone on here.

It had exactly what I said it did.

Perhaps there's more than one video.

jafs 7 years ago

There are two videos.

But who were those guys working for, and what right did they have to be standing around with a billy club?

notanota 7 years ago

Oh wow. You found two people standing somewhere in another state. Clearly this indicates a massive and widespread problem that must immediately be dealt with by bigger government.

Scott Drummond 7 years ago


Perhaps Kris was not listening when the republicans in Congress conducted their selective readings from the Constitution.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

So, you would agree that any of the hundreds of laws pertaining to gun ownership are not to be tolerated too?

How about the rules pertaining to the expression of free speech? Are they unconstitutional too? Let the protesters get right up in the face of those they are protesting, even those grieving the loss of a family member because no infringement is to be tolerated?

Please, all rights are tempered and this law does not infringe upon anyone's right to vote.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

Actually, you're wrong. Voting is not a guaranteed right. It's a privilege granted by the state. And at one time in this country's history that privilege actually was extended to non citizens. I suggest you do a little research.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

You qualified the statement with "at this point" and you are right; at this point in time the US doesn't allow non citizens to vote. You should also know that "history" doesn't usually refer to the recent past.

Scott Drummond 7 years ago

The corporate astro turf Tea Bagger groups wailed a good deal about President Obama's supposed assaults on their Constitutional rights. Strange how so many have been so quiet on this pending infringement.

Props to Liberty One above, however, he at least has the decency to maintain an intellectual consistency.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

The young and minorities already vote in very small numbers. We all vote in too small numbers. Requiring voter I.D. is misguided in my opinion, because it addresses a problem that probably does not exist. That said, the numbers of potential voters dissuaded from voting because of the I.D. requirement is probably equally low.

lucky_guy 7 years ago

Ok so in the dark ages when I went to KU and they had voter registration drives, all you had to show was your out of state drivers license to register to vote in Kansas. Now if you have to show a birth certificate and a baptismal document and a circumscision certificate to register how many of KU's out of state kids are going to do that or in state for that matter. If you are from Hawaii forget it as we all know their certificates of live birth are no good in Kansas. The is a cynical attempt to keep the college kids out of the voting booths because of 2008. Hickam is right, and the grave yards and nursing homes will all vote because they were registered before and will still vote Repub.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Just out of curiosity, but is a student holding an I.D. from another state eligible to vote in Kansas? What safeguards are there to prevent him/her from voting in two states?

barlowtl 7 years ago

The governor of New Hampshire was very honest about his motives' to restrict college students ability to vote. He said he didn't really want them voting in their state because they tend to vote on their emotions rather than their brains. At least he didn't make up any phoney excuse. Suppressing the vote has always been a tactic to try to influence the outcome of elections. Was it in Kansas where the name of a" fraudulent " voter was touted as proof of fraud because he was deceased? They tracked him down raking his leaves. His reply "If this is heaven why am I still raking leaves?

snitty 7 years ago

As a voter I am much more concerned about fraud in the counting of ballots than the unproven notion that there are individuals voting fraudulently, or that it could matter to the outcome of an election. If Kobach were truly interested in fraud-free elections he should start by making the vote count process more transparent and verifiable. No voting machines, outside observers, and no partisan officials involved in the process. This whole issue is a diversion from where the true fraud takes place, when it actually has occurred.

Bill Getz 7 years ago

Much ado about nothing here. Kobach is a resume-padder (he actually contributed nothing to the Arizona immigrant law, although, following the example of Al Gore inventing the Internet, he gives himself credit for it). He will go national as the man who stopped voter fraud in Kansas, as if any had ever existed, this being the only forum available to him. As charlatan he pertains to the Kansas tradition of Doc Brinkley and Gerald Winrod. In this sense, we may be lucky to have him to spice up our otherwise crushingly dull political scene. BG

verity 7 years ago

"following the example of Al Gore inventing the Internet"

Oh good grief, are you really that ignorant? Al Gore never claimed that he invented the Internet. Give it up.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

I just don't understand the opposition based on the idea that democrats, but not republicans will be adversely affected by this law.

Does the law exempt republicans? Or are republicans smarter or more motivated to vote than democrats?

Or maybe they believe republicans are more wealthy and thus, will have their butlers handle the paperwork for them?

I just don't understand how this law affects one party but not the other?

jafs 7 years ago

I think the idea is that those folks least likely to have ID's, or easy access to birth certificates, etc. are the disenfranchised, the poor, the elderly, etc. and that those groups tend to vote Democratic.

Brandon Devlin 7 years ago

But the question still begs, why are they less likely to have any form of ID? My 92 year old Grandmother (a Democrat, mind you,) can't drive anymore in the state of North Dakota, but still has a state-issued ID card.

It astounds me how much of an uproar this is causing. When I went to vote during the City Commission/School Board elections, it occurred to me that anyone could walk into my voting location and tell the nice lady with the signature book that they were me. Not that I'm overly concerned that someone wants to be me, but they could certainly infringe upon my ability to vote when it truly matters. For me, that's the real issue, and it has nothing to do with my political leanings.

jafs 7 years ago

I can't answer that question.

But that's the concern.

Personally, I wouldn't find it a hardship at all, and agree that it would prevent someone else from voting in my place.

Brandon Devlin 7 years ago

And then what? I claim a fraudulent vote was cast. What can they do? I'll bet I don't get to cast another vote that day.

verity 7 years ago

Yes, you do get to cast a vote---a provisional ballet. A situation like this---and how often has this happened?---is automatically investigated. Where have you people been?

Brandon Devlin 7 years ago

A provisional ballot that may not be counted for up to 10 days. . .a problem that could be rectified by showing an ID card at the polling place.

Plurilingual 7 years ago

How is requiring a photo ID going to stop that? Fake IDs are pretty easy to come by, so I hear.

Brandon Devlin 7 years ago

Maybe for buying beer. . .but is someone really going to go through the trouble of verifying my name and address for an ID just so they can vote for me? A lot easier just to walk in and claim they are me without having to show proof.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it really doesn't bother me to have to prove who I am to cast my vote. . .and it's not a politically-based opinion.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

Ah, so if I don't want to grow old, I should be a republican? LOL

Might be a little bit of truth to that idea, but generally, I think those groups, with the exception of the elderly, just don't vote.

George Lippencott 7 years ago

What a silly letter. What silly arguments.

  1. If people want to vote they will get the ID - which the vast majority already have
  2. The ID might actually help the election judge find some of our more complicated names.

The Reps won the Kansas election - give them one.

You would have to wonder why some on here find this so much of a problem - do they know something that Mr. K apparently knows??

verity 7 years ago

I have a very complicated name---much more than yours---and there has never been a problem finding it. Actually makes it easier to spot.

In Oklahoma I had to present my voter registration card to vote---seemed more than reasonable and I always wondered why I didn't have to in Kansas. Obviously you have one if you have registered.

"The Reps won the Kansas election - give them one." Talk about a silly argument. They're getting more than one already and this one is intended to make sure they will always win elections in Kansas.

George Lippencott 7 years ago

No worse than this silly issue. I see nothing wrong with requiring people to prove who they are when they register. Initial registration is important-too important to be done at a mall when someone solicits you. The Ds are as bad as the Rs when they demand the right to solicit people who happen to be passing by - a truely informed voter. Yes this will impact the Ds as they tend to rely more on such solicited registration. So get people excited in plenty of time to get their birth certificate.

Of course I was addressing voting in my note. An ID is just fine. And yes we have had some fun with our name and I have used an ID before to try to help - and been rejected so we spelled it again and again. Noting more interesting than two old people mumbling on one hand and hard of hearing on the other.

verity 7 years ago

I think the voter ID is a smoke screen for the real issue---making it difficult to register to vote. I've lost/misplaced my copy of my birth certificate and had to order a new one. It costs money and takes time to do so.

You can do it online if you have a computer, an internet connection and a credit card.

jafs 7 years ago

The bill claims it will provide a state ID to those who can't afford it.

Maybe it also has a provision to pay for your ordering a birth certificate?

verity 7 years ago

Good question.

However, it would still take time (receiving, processing and mailing the certificate) and a certain amount of resources to get it and this will certainly be a barrier to some.

I still maintain that this is about making it more difficult to register to vote. If there was proof that many people were voting illegally, then I would support more stringent laws, but there isn't. Truly a solution in search of a problem.

As someone stated above, I am much more concerned about fraud in the vote counting process, where there actually seems to be a problem, and one has to wonder why certain people are so against reform in this area. The recent fiasco in Wisconsin is a point in case.

verity 7 years ago

Before the grammar police get me, I think it's supposed to be "case in point."

Anyway, one has to wonder why the concern about people voting illegally, when there has been so little problem, yet no concern about fraudulent counting, when it appears to have been a big problem in a number of elections.

Brandon Devlin 7 years ago

I would agree with you on the concern issue. . .it's an issue that Kobach can hang his tiny hat on.

But, I still don't necessarily mind the idea of showing an ID card; however, I would want to make sure that EVERYONE has the ability to get an ID card so that EVERYONE who has the right to vote can vote.

verity 7 years ago

I have no problem with some sort of ID as long as it is easily available, but as I stated before, I don't think that is what this is all about.

Maybe if Kobach weren't such a smarmy, slimy character, we wouldn't be so suspicious of his motives.

And I predict a lawsuit will follow as to the constitutionality of the law, which will cost more taxpayer money.

The Kansas government should be focusing on the economy and jobs---remember "It's the economy, stupid."? I seem to recall that won at least one presidential election.

Jan Rolls 7 years ago

You people don't get it. It's not the voting they are trying to stymie it's the registration when the birth certificate part kicks in. Voter outreach efforts at malls, etc. will be reduced significantly because who carries their birth certificate when they go shopping.

verity 7 years ago

Exactly what I have been trying to say!!!

Paul R Getto 7 years ago

Fidogump: BINGO. You win today's prize. Voter suppression is a favorite tactic of both sides in selected areas, but it's done much better by the R's, who work on it systematically, this law being just one example. They are perfectly content to have 6-7% of the eligible population pick local winners (Lawrence) and about 25% pick the president. "In December 2007, Kansas GOP Chair Kris Kobach sent an email boasting, "[T]o date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years!" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_caging#2008_US_Election

grandnanny 7 years ago

What's really crazy about all of this is that the Republican legislature already gets to gerrymander the state in the next couple of years so they can eliminate any and all Democratic seats. The photo ID hits mainly on poor people, people who don't drive or have bank accounts, elderly, etc. My 70-year old sister has always voted, but she does not have a valid photo ID anymore because she is legally blind and no longer drives. She can afford to get a new photo ID but not everyone can. And I wonder if a "Certificate of Live Birth" will suffice for a birth certificate since that is what Kansas (Hawaii and many other states also) provides for a substantial fee.

jafs 7 years ago

Messing around with the districts is a bad thing.

But, of course, both sides can do it, when they're in power.

Brent Garner 7 years ago

If you buy alcohol you have to show ID. If you buy tobacco you have to show ID. If the police stop you, you had better have ID. I have to show my ID to cash a check. In some stores, I have to show my ID to use my debit/credit card. Since the bill, now law, gives those who want it a free ID, there is no financial burden. The only burden, if that, is a very minor one of bothering to get the thing and producing it at the voting place. Granted, fake IDs can be obtained if wanted. Requiring ID is not perfect but it does safeguard an election at minimal cost and inconvenience. BTW, the Supreme Court has already ruled that such requirements are not unconstitutional. So, just make sure you have your ID and go vote!

Centerville 7 years ago

You have to have a birth certificate to get a passport. Does that upset you, too?

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