Archive for Monday, April 25, 2011

Voting rights advocates argue new birth certificate requirement will disenfranchise some voters

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, spoke at the Lied Center about the economic and security effects of illegal immigration Tuesday, April 12, 2011.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, spoke at the Lied Center about the economic and security effects of illegal immigration Tuesday, April 12, 2011.

April 25, 2011


— Voting rights advocates say that Kansas’ new law that requires a photo ID to cast a ballot is bad enough, but what’s worse is its requirement that states to register to vote a person must prove U.S. citizenship.

“That part is actually far more troubling,” said Ernestine Krehbiel, president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas.

The days of voter registration drives at picnics, nursing homes, grocery stores, county fairs and the Kansas State Fair, may be near an end, she said.

That’s because taking effect Jan. 1, 2013, is a provision that states a voter registration applicant shall not be registered until the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of U.S. citizenship. The provision applies only to new voter registration applications in Kansas.

Focus on birth certificate

Currently, when you register to vote, a person signs a statement swearing or affirming that he or she is a U.S. citizen. Submitting a false voter registration application is punishable by up to 17 months in prison.

There are several ways to prove citizenship, but the most common document that will be used under the new law will be a birth certificate that can either be presented in person at the time of registration or a photo copy of the document that can be mailed in with the registration application.

But Krehbiel said that in this day of identity theft, people are rightly wary about sharing personal and documented information with a stranger.

“If you showed up at my booth at the fair, you would be quite foolish to allow me to photo copy your birth certificate,” she said.

In addition, she noted, getting a copy of a birth certificate costs money. A copy of a Kansas birth certificate costs $15. Some elderly people don’t have birth certificates, and many women will have to provide further documentation if they have taken their husbands’ last name.

To get a copy of a Kansas marriage certificate costs another $15.

“I think it will be particularly hard on the indigent, disabled and elderly who do not already have driver’s licenses or birth certificates sitting around their house,” Krehbiel said.

Shew gearing up

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said the proof of citizenship requirement will make voter registration more difficult.

“It’s going to require a lot more staff involvement,” Shew said.

He agreed with Krehbiel that no one will be collecting birth certificates at voter registration drives.

He said his office will try to reach out to those who submit voter registration applications and contact them somehow to educate them on how to get a birth certificate and then get that record to the county election office to finalize the registration process.

“I want to make sure for us, that we have a system that helps remove barriers,” he said.

Voter registration drives are important in Douglas County, especially at Kansas University. He said in a presidential year, thousands of students register to vote during registration drives.

But educating the public about the new law and helping people register to vote will cost money, Shew said. He said he is putting together a budget and proposing mailers that will cost tens of thousands of dollars.

He said he was glad the Legislature delayed the birth certificate requirement until 2013 because that would give officials time to implement the voter ID requirement and deal with a presidential election.

Brownback’s opinion

Secretary of State Kris Kobach who pushed for the new law, said he will continue trying to get the Legislature to put the proof of citizenship requirement in the law in 2012.

Both he and Gov. Sam Brownback have said the voter ID and proof of citizenship provision are key to preventing election fraud.

“For those who are lawful citizens of Kansas, this bill will not create obstacles to casting a ballot — not at all,” Brownback said when signing the bill into law last week. “I think these are reasonable steps to protect the rights of our citizens. Protecting the integrity of elections is a core piece of a working democracy.”

Krehbiel said rules were already in place to combat election fraud and that the new law will simply make it tougher to register to vote.

“All of those registration drives will have to dry up,” Krehbiel said. “Some people are saying that is the motivation behind these laws. I don’t know.”


Bill Lee 7 years, 1 month ago

Having to purchase a birth certificate to vote is the same as a poll tax. I thought we got rid of those forty years ago. If Kobach wants everyone to show one to register, then he needs to get the state to supply them at no charge.

Brock Masters 7 years, 1 month ago

Have you been equally vocal about the cost to exercise one's second amendment right? Want to ensure your rights are protected then protect all rights for all people.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice try, but wrong. The National Guard is just that. WE are the militia, but nice try at revisionism.

Joshua Montgomery 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, not so much....Article 1, Section 8:

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

That would be the SAME militia referenced in the 2nd amendment. I understand that the interpretation has changed recently due to judicial activism on the part of the conservative court, but the original intent is clear.

The National Guard IS the militia.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 1 month ago

fred, The second Amendment is the wrong right. Great point!

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

I am in favor of this new law, but I too think that the state should wave the fee for bithcertificates used for this compliance.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 1 month ago

And if you're born in another state, can we get them to waive their fee?

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm 100% with you. We should show our ID and prove our citizenship, but they do need to waive the fee. In addition, a passport should also prove your citizenship, FYI.

oldvet 7 years, 1 month ago

That would be the passport where you were required to provide a copy of your US citizenship, typically a birth certificate, to have the initial passport issued...

Tim Quest 7 years, 1 month ago

That's just brilliant. If I had just moved to Kansas and wanted to register to vote, to combat voter fraud (a problem that doesn't exist in Kansas), I would have to send away to Wisconsin for my birth certificate, a process that takes $20 and up to 3 months to be fulfilled. So much for democracy.

These provincial, fascist morons like Kobach apparently have a hard time understanding that not everyone lives close to where they were born - not everyone has daddy's dealership to support them.

Bill Lee 7 years, 1 month ago

I had one, but an idiot decided to burn down my apartment building so I don't have it anymore. BTW I didn't call anyone a moron, but Kobach hasn't impressed me.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

Might I suggest you get a copy for your personal papers. There are a number of times in your life where you may need one and your excuse of being born elsewhere won't help then either.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 1 month ago

Farney, Just volunteer for Kobach for a few months until your birth certificate arrives. Wowzer so sour and from Vishkonsin too.

Hope you don't wish to travel to Mexico or anywhere outside the U.S. Those facists there everywhere including the Lawrence Public Library.

So much for democracy

Patriot2 7 years ago

Guess I'm fortunate that I have my birth certificate my mommy and daddy used to enroll me in Kindergarten about 45 years ago! And it still works!

Phillbert 7 years, 1 month ago

"Voting rights advocates argue new birth certificate requirement will disenfranchise some voters"

Yes, because that was the entire point. The Republicans' "voter fraud" lie was just a cover story.

Mike1949 7 years, 1 month ago

Showing ID is reasonable, but proving citizenship? That is over board and really intrusive by the government. Republicans have been claiming too much government for . . . well for as long as I can remember and what do they want to do, exactly what they have been claiming they were against. I don't carry around my birth certificate, and it is locked away so it won't get lost or destroyed. This stupidity has to stop . . . . oh wait, we are dealing with republicans and common sense isn't their forte'.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 1 month ago

Take a peek at your nation under democratic power lately Mike?

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 1 month ago

Then they will ask for your original birth certificate if you show them your certificate of live birth... :) Anyway, they need to waive the fee if they want to implement this or they have to do this on my behalf. There are some poorer citizens who will not have the time or the money to travel to their former states just to get their BC.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

Your premise is ridiculous. Ever hear of preventative action.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

Just how far do you want to take "preventative action", TJ? Thinking like that can result in loss of freedoms that make this a democracy.

BigAl 7 years, 1 month ago

Agree with kernal. I always thought it was the Republicans that wanted less government interference in our lives.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

It could be rampant. If it is fraud, it is not going to get advertised. I agree with proving citisenship.

Brian Hall 7 years, 1 month ago

But Kobach has said that voter fraud is running rampant. He has stated this isn't a preventive measure. He has said that there is proof of voter fraud in Kansas. He has not provided any proof of actual voter fraud and if you listen to his Q&A at the Lied Center a couple weeks ago, people asked him to give examples of voter fraud seen in Kansas and each example started with "It would be like..." Vague examples and "what-if" scenarios are not proof of voter fraud--especially if you plan on doing something that essentially overrides the 24th Amendment.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 1 month ago

From the article, "All of those registration drives will have to dry up,” Krehbiel said. “Some people are saying that is the motivation behind these laws. I don’t know.”

IMHO: The goal is in fact to stifle voter registration drives. I personally would not provide a copy of my birth certificate to someone knocking on my door or to someone at a voter registration booth. I'm glad I'm already registered to vote.

Kobach and his handler, Brownstripe, both want the birth certificate requirement in place for 2012. They do not want it in place to ensure the integrity of elections, the want it in place to ensure that the Republican Party and the Teabaggers will always remain in power in Kansas. I guess the next step is a loyalty oath and verification of the correct religious background before someone can attend college or work in Kansas.

Patriot2 7 years ago

What! Are you implicating that members of the Democratic party can not show proof of citizenship? Democrats are not citizens? Is that what your saying? That only Republicians are citizens?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

This post pre-removed for using a vulgar sexual term to describe someone on the sinister side of the aisle.

tomatogrower 7 years, 1 month ago

Get over yourself. Words change meaning over time. Gay used to mean happy, for example. It's funny how most people who started calling tea party people teabaggers didn't even know what the sexual act was, but most of the tea party supporters knew. What does that tell you? That liberals are sexually repressed? Uptight, maybe? Those swinging tea party people know a lot about strange sexual practices.

Wayne Propst 7 years, 1 month ago

The only receint example of voter fraud....Senitor Roger Pine and Planning commissiner Sue Pine....enriched themselves......both given a good old "boy" passes.......

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Does anybody else think this picture makes Kobach look like the Joker from Batman?

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

No but your comment makes you appear to be juvenile

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

Just a bit, jafs, but a no talent Joker.

Progressive_Kansan 7 years, 1 month ago

That was a very apt observation obviously made by an adult.

stlcards515 7 years, 1 month ago

I was thinking a cross between the Joker and the Grinch when he smiles.

DeMontfort 7 years, 1 month ago

Throw in a touch of Ted Haggard, too, especially with the smiling.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Aw yes, let the liberal name calling begin. Because, you know, it's okay to make unfair personal attacks if you are a Dem.

Sharon Aikins 7 years, 1 month ago

We get what we elect. Well, I didn't vote so I can't complain, just grind my teeth and bite my tongue. There was such a witch hunt to get any Dems. out of office this last election that we have created a witch hunt of a different sort. Don't take it personally unless you were born outside the US.

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 1 month ago

This is ridiculous. I thought showing an ID was reasonable, this is not.

Are people who are already registered to vote going to have to reregister?

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

Duhh. If your already registered, your registered. Pay attention.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago


But it raises an interesting question - if those who are currently registered haven't proven their citizenship, why is that ok?

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

That's a lie. I know both Roger and Sue Pine and they are some of the most honorable and upright people I know. They would never do something that they even thought was wrong. I'd stake my home and everything I own on it.

BigPrune 7 years, 1 month ago

It seems funny that a so-called "non-partisan" organization like the League of Women Voters seems to always repeat Democratic talking points almost verbatim. What seems even funnier is I remember that organization working the polls when I voted one year.

tomatogrower 7 years, 1 month ago

That must be why we have so many Democrats elected in Kansas! Oh wait...

BigPrune 7 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence seems to always vote Democrat though...The M-T Bus got 70% of the vote remember, and it seems Lawrence's citizens ALWAYS pass any and all tax increases proposed on a ballot. Hmmmm.

mtnfreak 7 years, 1 month ago

You need to show a birth certificate to get a driver's license and no one seems to be disenfranchised about that.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

And that, mtnfreak, is why most of us question the need for the same to register to vote. The state has already seen our birth certificate!

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

You do not have to show a birth certificate to get a driver's license, nor do you have to be a citizen: "All original applicants must present one item from list A, a second item from list A, B, C or D, proof of residency and proof of principle residence address. Applicants that were not born in the US or those that are not American citizens must provide proof of lawful presence from list B, a second item from list C or D, proof of residency and proof of principle residence address."

Kontum1972 7 years, 1 month ago

he's a Nazi sympathizer i wonder what branch of the service he was in...or was he one of those draft dodgers

beeline 7 years, 1 month ago

If you do need to show a birth certificate to get a diver's license, then why isn't a driver's license enough?

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

The driver's license wouldn't be enough to register, would it?

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

Neither a birth certificate nor citizenship are required to get a driver's license.

Soapbox 7 years, 1 month ago

Please all of you liberals grow up!

BigAl 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes. All of you liberals grow up and stop thinking for yourselves. Get back in line like good little followers. We know what is best for you. Stop this questioning of your leaders.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

I need some cheese and crackers to go with the aBundance of whine on this thread.

mloburgio 7 years, 1 month ago

There is no evidence of major voter fraud When asked, Kobach campaign spokesperson Ben Smith said the campaign is basing all of its statements on information provided by the Secretary of State’s office. However, according to statistics provided by the Secretary of State’s office, a total of seven cases were referred to local, state or federal authorities in the past five years regarding election crimes. Out of those seven, only one was prosecuted, and none dealt with unqualified voters.

The Kobach campaign was asked by The Sentinel to provide clarification, in light of these statistics and documents, on how voter fraud is “pervasive”, and whether or not the Secretary of State’s office has been negligent in either investigating or dealing with voter fraud. The campaign was also asked to provide evidence of groups such as ACORN engaging in activities that directly influenced the outcome of elections in Kansas. No responses were received.

booyalab 7 years, 1 month ago

So if voter fraud isn't "major" and doesn't directly influence the outcome of elections it's ok?

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

is it ok to spend so many resources on a non-issue?

think of how many resources have already gone into preventing another 7 allegations of the next 5 years.

boy, nothing get's conservative panties in a wad quite like wasteful government, huh.

of course, if it prevents a few more democrats from voting, it's hardly wasteful now, is it?

ECM 7 years, 1 month ago

Really. So all those records of dead people voting isn't fraud. What a joke liberals don't like this because it will shut out all the people they bus to the polls and tell how to vote or pay to vote.

tomatogrower 7 years, 1 month ago

Where is your proof that this is happening? Have you reported it to the authorities?

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

If anyone in Kansas is voting the dead or busing folks to polls to vote, you'd think it'd be the party that wins the elections year after year...and it ain't the Democrats. So I guess that means Ks. republicans are secretly liberals.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

Sorry too big of a jump. A little stretch I could make but from birth certificates to guns??? Sorry can't do it.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

"... or was he one of those draft dodgers?" The draft ended when Kobach would have been in the second grade. Did not find any information indicating he ever served in the military.

Some will only go so far in protecting democracy, yet are hell bent on bending it to their own ends.

lamb 7 years, 1 month ago

It seems like a reasonable requirement to me. Of course I am a US citizen, so will not have a problem having the proper I.D.

BigAl 7 years, 1 month ago

Tell that to Obama. Even though it has been confirmed by a Republican Governor, the State of Hawaii, two different Hawaii newspapers, several news agencies and the national republican party (even though they don't want to talk about it), a lot of people still don't want to think he is a citizen.

What makes you think that these "vote control" experts will approve what you provide as proof?

sandrat7 7 years, 1 month ago

What a bunch of whiney babies. You have to show your birth certificate and marrieage license to get a passport. Big deal. Elderly would have a hard time? Why aren't they already registered? Grow up.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

What about 2nd amendment rights?

We seem to have decided that it's ok to require a number of things of citizens who want to buy guns, and that those requirement don't in fact infringe on their constitutionally protected rights.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Sure, except we seem to have broadened the notion.

Anybody can buy a gun, no militia necessary.

DeMontfort 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes, and if you have a concealed-carry permit you can actually use that to prove your ID when you vote. I am not making this up. Go read the law.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 1 month ago

If one citizen is prevented from voting because the requirements have become too burdensome, then that's one too many. If one non-citizen is allowed to vote because enforcement has become too lax, then that's one too many.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe so.

But your argument was that voting is a "right" not a "privilege", and therefore we shouldn't make regulations about voting.

The same argument would apply to 2nd amendment rights.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 1 month ago

Here's an idea. Let's keep illegals from having a voice, an education, maintain a god-like image over them, keep them segregated and deny them any rights that an American-born person would have, but use them for the benefit of a privileged class of Americans.

Wait ...didn't we try this once already? How did that work out?

rtwngr 7 years, 1 month ago

I say we prosecute them for violating federal law.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 1 month ago

That makes one of you apparently. This is one place where right-winged nepotism does not exist. Your fellows don't support your feelings concerning prosecution, deportation. You can follow the blind hatred crowd and holler "Ship 'em out" all you want but your pisn into the wind. Men of power need them here.

So how do you maintain such a population while keeping them blind of their own destiny? Look at the slavery days. As the last "civilized" nation on Earth to outlaw human slavery we have plenty of recently archived methods. Don't educated them. (Dream act) Create a God-like image of yourself over them.(Media coverage) Deny them a voice.(Like illegals vote in the first place) Occasionally punish a few of them to keep them working quietly. The inconsistency will confuse them enough to hold them down.(Headlines twice a year about mass deportation)

It ain't rocket science. They generate enormous profits and receive little in return by comparison. Everyone in the country benefits from their presence. Even your most recent guru suggested guest worker plans as did Reagan back in his day.

Illegals are a vital part of our economy. They make for cheap meat and veggies and are a great way for politicians to generate personal income. Fauxnews watchin' Rghtwgers bleat and clop their hooves and toss dollars. Make them legal, pay taxes-money coming in. or Pointless legislation, law suits=money for someone--not the people, millions spent defending lawsuits. Work smart, not hard.

remember_username 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, thank goodness Kansas has only 6 electoral votes. Crazy behavior from little fish. Although perhaps it is prudent to reconsider funding large federal projects in a state run by lunatics.

Kat Christian 7 years, 1 month ago

"Show me your papers," says the Gestopo. We might as well all just apply for passports to make it easier to prove who we are, because it is actually coming to this. Regardless the dishonest will find a way around proving citizenship. There's a con man on every corner.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 1 month ago

For many people they have to produce a copy of their birth certificate when they obtain a driver's license, some time around age 17 when they still live with their parents. If that's good enough for the DMV/BMV why isn't the DL good enough for voter registration. Is there no one left in Kansas brave enough (or unfortunately well funded enough) to appeal this legislation? Does the University lack the (you know what) to do what's in the best interest of it's students, most of whom are Kansas residents voting for the first time after they come to KU? Anybody want to promote a boycott of the Kochs, or at least picket their business locations in Kansas? This is a naked power grab which you need to remember in 2012. You have to ignore high gas prices and Obama's fecklessness and vote holding your nose; otherwise it's far too easy to end up like Wiemar Germany in 1933 willing to give up liberties for bread.

DeMontfort 7 years, 1 month ago

Please go read the law before spouting off. Providing a birth certificate is NOT the only means of ID acceptable to register to vote. A driver's license will suffice.

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

And yet non-citizens can get a driver's license.

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

And yet non-citizens can get a driver's license.

firebird27 7 years, 1 month ago

In our society, we all are required to provide official documents to gain access to a variety of rights and privileges. Can you prove you are sufficiently old enough to purchase alcholic beverages? Can you have your university submit a transcript to prove you actually received the degree you claim to have earned? Do you have an insurance policy to allow you to drive a car? Can you prove that you have sufficient collateral do buy a home or car? Are you currently licensed to practice a particular profession? Discussions of power grabs and prejudice ring hollow in consideration of past legitimate societal practices to authenticate who one is and what you are permitted to do.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 1 month ago

Every one of your examples is a privilege, not rights.

Voting is a constitutional right.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

As is the 2nd amendment right to own a gun.

Are you against any and all regulations on exercising that right as well?

geekin_topekan 7 years, 1 month ago

If it blatantly targeted brown people, yes.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

So if it was required to show citizenship to buy a gun, you'd be against it?

geekin_topekan 7 years, 1 month ago

If it blatantly targeted brown people I would be against it.

Color it a rosey as you want to, this is pure racism. Technicalities rhetoric do not nullify that fact.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

I disagree.

The proposal is that you must prove your citizenship in order to exercise a right of that citizenship.

If you're against that when the right in question is voting, you should be against it when the right is gun ownership.

Just because you say "it blatantly targets brown people" doesn't make it so.

Since all voters will have to comply, what's the evidence for your claim?

geekin_topekan 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, the man for one. He has a history of targeting non-white immigrants as seen in Az. does he not? (I honestly don't know his connection to that law).

Hiding racism behind the law does not make it disappear. Look at the disparities between sentencing guidelines for certain crimes. Crack vs Powder. Just because the guidelines for crack apply to everyone doesn't hide the fact that blacks are more likely to fall into the harsher guidelines, therefore making them the target of harsher laws.

ID vs no ID. Who is more likely to fall into which category?

I dont condone cocaine use or illegal immigration. My point is, this sets a bad precedence. Again.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

The law in Arizona targets illegal immigrants, as far as I know.

The sentencing disparities are unfair, and should be changed, in my view - actually, I would legalize all drugs entirely. But, it seems to me that if it "targets" anybody, it's poor people, since crack is cheaper.

I don't know the answer to that, although I suspect that the group most affected by these rules will be younger student voters, who won't want to go to the trouble involved to register.

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

The requirements of identification (a.k.a. government regulations) that you cite are all in response to people cheating.

Young people try to buy booze.

People lie on their resumes.

People drive without insurance.

People default on loans.

People practice particular professions without being licensed.

Arguments in favor of Kobach's agenda ring hollow in the absence of any substantive need for the new requirements.

verity 7 years, 1 month ago

It's been said before and I'll say it again. This is not about voter fraud. This is about keeping legitimate voters from voting. I'll repeat that again---it is about keeping legitimate voters from voting.

It will cost money, it will gum up the system, and ultimately will probably be declared unconstitutional.

If I were a gambler, I'd wager that the next thing will be a law requiring those of us who are already registered to reregister.

I'm pretty sure I didn't need a birth certificate when I got my driver's license and I wouldn't have had any other identification at the time. Also, contrary to what is being said, you don't need a birth certificate to apply for Social Security. I ordered a copy because I thought I would need it, but I applied online and was never asked for it---never had to show any identification. I'm sure the SS office could check, also online, whether I was legitimate.

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

"thousands of students register to vote during registration drives"

How many new students at KU register as Democrats?

How many new students at KU would end up not registering if they have to present a birth certificate?

One effect of this requirement is going to be a delay in first time registrations of young voters.

dumbblondebecky 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't remember showing a birth certificate to get my driver's license, but when I went to get my teenaged children their permits and licenses, it was required. They do pass new laws, and this is one of them, obviously. I drove to Topeka to get my son's, because he wanted to take the test sooner than he could have if he had to wait for them to mail a copy. We had our children's birth certificates, but I had misplaced them at the time.

When we qualified for insurance through my husband's job, I had to photocopy and fax birth certificates for each of my children AND a copy of the marriage license of my husband and I to prove that we are in fact married and that our children ARE in fact ours. Some say that health coverage is a right and not a privilege.

There are many people who are able to get a driver's license in KS without being citizens. I saw a group of immigrants with their employer(a lawn service)in line with their passports, green cards and forms they filled out in order to get a valid KS driver's license. Showing a license at the polls is proof that you are who you say you are ONCE YOU ARE REGISTERED. But if you are a new voter who is registering, simply showing a driver's license does not prove you are a citizen of the city, county, state or country in which you live.

The law is for NEW REGISTRATIONS. I agree with the person who said that the elderly who want to be registered most likely(99% of the time)are already registered.

Younger people who are registering will most certainly have a copy of their birth certificate because of the requirement of showing it for a driver's license.

firebird27 7 years, 1 month ago

Voting is a constitutional right for citizens. Are you a US citizen? If not, then you should not be able to vote. Can you verify your claim that you are a citizen? What is so difficult about these questions. The political right may have an agenda, but if you took an original position in which you did not know what was political forces were attempting to do, what is the rational position to take to these questions. I am a Democrat, not a Republican, and I believe that my constitutional rights should be protected, not taken advantage by others who may claim to be what they are not. This initiative may have political motives beyond constitutional ones. We should do all we can to provide the means for U.S. citizens to vote, but I support the notion that I must prove I am a U.S. citizen.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 1 month ago

I am becoming more and more ASHAMED at our elected offiicals. This is pure tragedy.

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

There's a high probability that this legislation will result in a drop in voter turnout.

And there's a high probability that the drop will be highest among Democrats.

Plain and effing simple.

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

that doesn't answer the question of:

why all the effort to fix something that's been proven not to be a problem?

Figured you'd kinda be against wasting government resources.

Is it ok if it's Republicans wasting them? Is it okay if it results in fewer Democrats voting?

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

Doesn't answer the question of:

why all the effort to fix a non-issue?

Figured you conservative types would be against further government intrusion.

Is it ok if it's the Republicans doing the intrusion?

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 1 month ago

Actually, Prospector, I do. When I lived in Portland in the '70's our landlord and his wife were concentration camp survivors. Ironically, our housemate was a student at PSU who's parents were interred in an American concentration camp and her brother was born there. Her grandfather had come to the US in 1878. But they had the misfortune to be named "Takimoto". In the '80's I worked with an LPN who escaped from Communist Romania in the early '70's. I also knew a man who escaped from Yugoslavia in the '60's. He and his brother were bayoneted during their attempt to cross the border and they were both left for dead. His brother died but he "played dead" and when the guards left managed to get across the border to a farmhouse where he was cared for. In my nearly 60 years I've met many people who gave me clues. Over and over again.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

At least I won't have to prove the state where I was born is part of the United States of America; or will I?

beaujackson 7 years, 1 month ago

Birth certificates and photo ID's are a problem - but only for illegal voters. Tough.

Birth certificates are no "hardship" for "seniors" because most have been registered for years.

Also, property owners (ONLY) should be able to vote on issues involving property tax. It's too easy for someone with no "stake in the game" to spend other peoples money.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

By that logic, nobody would have a vote at all, since many votes affect how tax money (ie. other people's money) is spent.

It doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.

BigPrune 7 years, 1 month ago

Why does this scare the Democrats so bad??? Is it because anywhere voter fraud has occurred, it has occurred in Democratic enclaves?

Lawrence is Kansas' Democratic enclave.

Now I get it

BigAl 7 years, 1 month ago

The only people that seem to be scared are right wingers that for some reason are quite worried about voter fraud. And I am still waiting to see the data on this wide spread voter fraud. Isn't that what got Kobach elected? Voter fraud? Anywhere?

We seem to be spending a lot of time on fixing a problem that isn't a problem. Very typical of the right wing propoganda machine.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 1 month ago

" Isn't that what got Kobach elected? Voter fraud? Anywhere?" Buller? Buller? (I really think I want to write a parody called "Ferris Kobach's Day Off".)

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 1 month ago

LOL!!!!!!!! Kansas has been a red state for decades, BP. If there is any sign of voter fraud it sure wasn't here in Kansas' only speck of blue. I suggest you turn around and take a look at the rest of the state. (I'm gonna chuckle over this for the rest of the day.)

Lacy Mohler 7 years, 1 month ago

A couple of years ago Aetna decided they had too much insurance fraud going on and made people produce birth certificates, marriage licenses, custody agreements etc. It wasn't that big a deal to put it together.

I had to show ID before having surgery last summer--from the emergency room! Elderly people aren't required to do this?

In the 70's, before retirement, my dad found out he didn't have a birth certificate. He had to have relatives, employers, friends etc. sign a form saying he existed---interesting since he had a SS# number and had been paying taxes for years. But it was easily accomplished--even in the day when computers weren't readily available.

My husband and I are putting together a retirement folder. For railroad retirement we will need birth certificates and marriage license. How do the elderly not have this information?

So, boo hoo, registering to vote will take a little effort and a birth certificate and voting will require an ID--big deal!

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 1 month ago

On the face of it, ID and proof of citizenship seem like reasonable requirements for voting.

However, in the context of US history, things like these have been used to suppress the vote, mostly of the poor and minorities, through intimidation and doubt.

I agree that if they really wanted to vote, these things shouldn't matter, and they should just go through the extra steps.

But let's not kid here. The purpose of these measures is not voter fraud, because there is no extensive voter fraud. It is to suppress the vote of groups that traditionally vote for democrats: minorities and the poor.

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

"Birth certificates and photo ID's are a problem - but only for illegal voters."

And for first time registrants.

You know, the thousands of young KU students who sign up during registration drives -- like the article mentions above.

Tell me, how do you think those thousands of newly registered, soon-to-be college educated elitists tend to vote? Republican or Democrat? Take a guess.

(hint: there is an factual answer to that, and it's "Democrat").

So... throw in an innocent little roadblock for students and watch that number go from thousands to hundreds. Better yet, ensure that voting drives can't even take place anymore unless those signing you up have the capability of verifying an official birth certificate.

Pretty soon... VOILA! You suddenly cut the number of young people who are registered to vote by thousands! And thus, you cut the number of votes for Democrats by thousands!

It's easy! All you have to do is propose the new regulations under a fictional account of "rampant voter fraud"!

If someone does point out that there really is no voter fraud, and that there seems to be a lot of effort going into defending against make believe problems, all you have to do is argue that everybody knows everything about you anyway. Therefore, what's the big deal in requiring an extra little, tiny, microscopic hurdle, that will prevent Mexican criminals from electing socialists?

Kobach and Brownback are the dumbest foxes in the world who just ate your chickens!

gudpoynt 7 years, 1 month ago

As a conservative, I am adamantly opposed to extensive government regulation and the wasting of my tax dollars on frivolous efforts.

But as a Republican, I will disregard these principles and stand by my party leaders no matter what.

Now please excuse me while I clean up the cognitive dissonance that has oozed all over my keyboard.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 1 month ago

I love it, Ilove it! This, dear friends and neighbors is what you get when you let yourself stumble into a righteous funk and vote for these right wing nuts for public office. Kobach had already extablished himself as a grandstanding moron with the by involving himself with issues in other states and now with the full knowledge of what this guy is, fawning Kansans elected him to public office. His desire to create problems where non exist, to make laws that have no use, to occupy legislative time when there are many more pressing problems with some incendary issue of his own fabrication should have been well known and recognized. And yet the great unwashed voted for him.

Folks, you get the government you deserve. And politicians like Kobach thrive at this public ignorance and stupidity.

BigAl 7 years, 1 month ago

I couldn't agree more. Very well stated.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 1 month ago

"Folks, you get the government you deserve..." Gee, I don't recall deliberately stepping on any kittens or back handing any nuns lately.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm ok with it if the state is ok with what the Feds are ok with when proving citizenship for employment; a photo ID and a Social Security card. Also, no copying!!!! Just present it, have the poll worker sign they saw it and go about your bidness. A passport will replace both pieces of documentation just as it does on the I-9 form. (And by the way, on the I-9 form a birth certificate alone is not proof of citizenship and also requires photo ID. Only a passport, even an expired one, also has a photo ID.) If the state is willing to certify people to sign they saw this documentation, LoWV can get people certified (just like for notaries) and they can keep doing registration drives. This will also do away with potential disenfranchisement of the elderly because they all have SS numbers for retirement and Medicare (and can get them replaced for free if they don't have a card). Requirements that go over and above what the Feds require for employment just to vote is ridiculous. That said, I really find myself bemused that this broke a$$ state thinks it's just peachy to throw thousands of dollars away on non problems. Just where in the budget is Brownie going to carve out the money for this?

gccs14r 7 years, 1 month ago

I shouldn't have to prove that I'm a Citizen; the State should have to prove that I'm not one.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 1 month ago

"And politicians like Kobach thrive at this public ignorance and stupidity." === Good points, hence the defunding of universities and public schools and the attempts to suppress the vote.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 1 month ago

beaujackson (anonymous) says… "Also, property owners (ONLY) should be able to vote on issues involving property tax. It's too easy for someone with no "stake in the game" to spend other peoples money." === I love that one. How Medieval of you, sir or madame. Muscular Sam and his jesus would be proud of you. Some of this sentiment also sounds like our sainted founding fathers. The poor who don't 'own property' pay plenty of property tax, and much larger portion of their income that those of us who were blessed with more.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 1 month ago

Actually, we'll have to have "666" tattooed into our foreheads. Then when we show up to vote we can just lift our bangs.

George_Braziller 7 years, 1 month ago

In Kansas there is a catch 22 to obtain a copy of your birth certificate if you don't have a current valid photo ID card, drivers' license, or passport. Can't be expired even though a copy of a birth certificate was originally required to obtain the photo identification.

Can't find a copy of your birth certificate? You're screwed. Have to have a current photo ID to get a copy of a birth certificate, but have to have a birth certificate to get a current photo ID.

Just went through this last year when I was assisting an elderly woman get a current photo ID so she could board an airplane to attend her granddaughter's wedding. She had a stroke seven years ago and never renewed her drivers' license because she could no longer drive. Didn't have a copy of her birth certificate so she could get a new one.

It took MONTHS to get it worked out.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

What were you able to do to get her the ID?

Some might find it useful information, if they're in a similar situation.

George_Braziller 7 years, 1 month ago

Took me months to get it worked out. Send an e-mail to Kobach and ask him how he'd do it. Bet you he wouldn't have a clue.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Why wouldn't you share that?

It might be very helpful to folks, and decrease the voter lowering effect of this legislation.

George_Braziller 7 years, 1 month ago

Not that I'm not willing to share, it's just that there isn't a process to do it because every situation is different. I worked in human services for 20+ years so I at least had an idea of where to start.

Take away every document from Kobach that proves he is who he says he is and have him attempt to re-establish it.

He would be crying like a baby in 15 minutes out of sheer frustration.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, these sort of problems are never considered by grandstanding politicians when they are trying to attract votes for themselves. Far too many politicians that are elected by the unknowing have little actual experience with the topics that they are trying to use to get their names in front of the media. And after the damage is done, it takes a lot more legislative time, money, effort and documentation to prove that the orginial intent of the law is completely fraudulant and that the collateral damage is a greater evil than the imagined problem was that was intended to be solved.

strongarmcrunch 7 years, 1 month ago

Still no mention whatsoever to opening up for public scrutiny the voting machine certification process, and to open software for voting machines and vote counting machines. All other suggestions are just bad make-up for a false face in the interest of strengthening voting rights.

Kobach is presenting a false face with bad make-up.

camper 7 years, 1 month ago

This can be problematic, because most who will be ordering a copy of their birth certificates will be a getting a "certification of live birth". This I remember, is the same document President Obama has produced, and some birthers don't feel is good enough.

It's these little things, small as they may seem are reminiscent of Germany 1930. Spread fear, create an enemy, and erode our rights. At this point in the game, I scratch my head wondering whats next.

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

Thank you. I looked into this and it's horrifying. Unfortunately the comment period ended the 24th.

blindrabbit 7 years, 1 month ago

Even Arizona's Jan Brewer has started to wise up; now we are stuck with a different but just as bigoted as the original KKK (Kansas' Kris Kobach). Seig Heil Herr Kobach!

sustainabilitysister 7 years, 1 month ago

There was a time I lost all forms of identification. In order to get any of them back it took a lot of time. For many individuals (especially now) this time to take off work, in order to regain these documents, will be at great cost. In order to obtain these documents individuals could loose their jobs, homes, childcare, children, etc... This is not being dramatic, this is real. This is law is unethical. This law was created by those that live within a high social economic status and blatantly discriminates against those that live within a marginalized socioeconomic state. This is not a move in the ethical, moral direction.

sustainabilitysister 7 years, 1 month ago

Shouldn't we be pushing for 100% voter turnout in order to fairly make decisions instead of deciding which individuals or socioeconomic status we want making all of the decisions? That's not democratic... that's POPPYCOCK!

Armored_One 7 years, 1 month ago

Better idea the providing your birth certificate.

Thumb print identification.

Thumb prints rarely, if ever, change.

Electroscan the voter's thumb print. Enter the person's name. If the thumb print doesn't match with at least 95% accuracy, then they are not allowed to vote.

To avoid any traffic crunches in the major areas, instead of trying to do this at a school or something, just put it in Tanger Mall. There are large chunks of it that are standing wide open. Some minor modifications to the power and privacy booths for voting, and you are all set. To simplify the process of getting everyone's thumb print, include a scan of it while getting your driver's license. One in every significantly sized town would suffice. Yes, it would be harder for people that live in the true boondocks to vote, but nothing is perfect, and most of those boondock cities don't have a DMV office anyway, so what would it matter, in the long run?

No need to connect the system to the Internet, either. A monthly diagnostic, plus an archived system kept in Topeka, or somewhere, just in case the system goes belly up for some freaked out reason, and you remove the option of people hacking in to get personal information.

Cuts down on paperwork. Money saved. Cuts down on errors. Money saved. Cuts down on fraud. Eh, I guess money saved.

Yes, the initial outlay of cash would be painful, but the low cost of maintenance and the fact that a computer is incapable of counting something wrong would go a long way to purifying the process.

There's probably holes in the idea, and I'm sure someone will point them out.

camper 7 years, 1 month ago

It would be interesting to know how good the filing is at hospitals, counties, and the states. I lost my original certificate in a terrible fire, but was glad my dad still had a copy in his desk (after all these years!).

There could really be some issues that vary by state. Do all states retain originals? Are they ever purged? Are off-site copies kept? Are they stored electronically? Are electronic copies acceptable? Are "certificates of live birth" which most states issue upon request, acceptable?

djclbbr1956 7 years, 1 month ago

Mmmm .... one more time, the state of KS (as well as other "limited" mid-western states), is reflecting their "backwoods" mentality ... voter identification/verification should only be the showing of "state" identification (whether it may be the state driver's license or state identification card), as proof of local/state residency .... anything beyond that falls under "federal" issues/statues, where it not only belongs but should require "national" oversight and/or control -- not the ridiculous, tax-revenue "local/county/state" claimed process ...

ydean 7 years, 1 month ago

Let's be honest.
The sole purpose of this law is to suppress turnout of those believed likely to vote for Democratic Party candidates.
This law should be repealed at the earliest opportunity.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Or we could just urge people to get the necessary documentation, and vote.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 1 month ago

We expect them to work while they are here. We expect them to follow our laws while they're here. Why not expect them to vote?

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

Are you speaking of illegal residents?

The Constitution does not provide those folks with the right to vote, it is a right reserved for US citizens.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

Show us the proof of rampant voter fraud, Kobach.

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Everyone here who can't produce a birth certificate, raise your hand!

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

I think yesterday it was proven that any mope can eventually produce a birth certificate.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 5 months ago

South Carolina's submission to the Justice Department did not offer any evidence of voter fraud that was not addressed by existing law and that arguably could be deterred by requiring voters to present only photo identification at the polls.

Their law has been struck down. Kansas will have the same fate, net result, poor and minorities will not be disenfranchised from the vote.

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