Archive for Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kansas House gives preliminary approval to voter ID bill

February 24, 2011


— The Kansas House on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls and proof of citizenship to register to vote.

The measure, advanced on a 78-36 vote, is a top priority of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, who said it was needed to prevent election fraud. A final House vote is expected today.

On the street

Should people be required to show identification when voting?

I don’t know. I’m really conflicted on it.

More responses

The bill would also authorize Kobach's office to prosecute election fraud cases, and increase the penalties for election crimes.

State Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, said the measure would ensure that the votes of legal voters aren't “diluted by anyone who cannot legally vote in Kansas.”

Critics of the bill said Kansas already has safeguards in place to ensure fraud-free elections, and that intentional voter fraud was rare in the state. They said the additional requirements to vote will suppress voter turnout, especially among minorities, the elderly and those with disabilities.

State Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka, said, if enacted, the bill would produce a number of obstacles to voting and prompt legal challenges.

“It's just bad. I'm not sure we should be using taxpayer money to defend bad law in court,” she said.

The bill would require people who register to vote for the first time in Kansas to provide proof that they're citizens, such as a birth certificate or a passport.

Mah said that would make more difficult common voter registration drives, such as those at churches, because people wouldn't know to bring their birth certificates to prove citizenship.

Under the bill, those who do not have a photo ID and are poor could get one for free, but Mah said courts have ruled that for voter ID to pass constitutional muster the state must provide free IDs for everyone.


beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

... the legislature put limits on people's rights.

Now, show us your papers!

arnoldsens 7 years, 3 months ago

How does pulling out an ID make it so difficult for the disabled, minorities and the elderly? I'm sure if they can get to the polling place pulling out an ID wouldn't be a problem, there must be nefarious reasons to use this lame excuse to appose this requirement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

If they want to, they can make it so that it's relatively easy to get an ID. But that would be expensive.

So we'll either get an expensive program that fixes a non-existent program, at a time when our so-called fiscally conservative legislators are making drastic cuts to essential programs, or we'll get one on the cheap that makes it difficult to get an ID, so the only measurable result will be reduced voter participation.

Given that they haven't even produced an estimate of what this will cost, it's pretty clear we'll get the latter.

Cindy Yulich 7 years, 3 months ago

I do not know all the detail of the bill but would share my mother's situation. She is in a nursing home and cannot leave except by ambulance. She never misses an election by voting absentee ballot. She does not have, or need, any sort of photo ID for any other reason and hasn't for years. I do not know how we could obtain a photo ID for her as she cannot be transferred.

tunahelper 7 years, 3 months ago

This is awesome! Finally. If the disabled and minorities and elderly don't know how to get an ID, TOO BAD!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

Yea, cause they probably vote the wrong way, anyway, right? If they don't vote just like Kobach and the Kochs wants them to, they shouldn't be voting, anyway.

Liberty275 7 years, 3 months ago

LOL, kochs fault. Are you going to toss in a little global climate warming ocean radiator change on the side? You might as well use your favorite scapegoats in every post.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

"Yea, cause they probably vote the wrong way, anyway, right?"

As opposed to the illegals who vote the right way? Without the no-ID vote, you might not get that weird CC candidate elected, huh?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

There is absolutely no evidence to support your paranoia.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

I must have missed the part about how much this will cost, and how they intend to pay for it.

Don't they have to cut something before they add something new into the budget? (or maybe they'll just raise the tax on baby food.)

thebigspoon 7 years, 3 months ago

I've only lived in Kansas for 61 years, but, somewhere along the line, I've missed the statute that allows the Secretary of State and his department to prosecute anything, let alone non-existent voter fraud. How in God's name (that's any God you care to claim) are we standing by watching this Koch-puppet trying to redefine the judicial powers of the state? If I'm wrong, someone please show me where the SOS is empowered to prosecute. If not, then this whole bill tumbles about itself on constitutional grounds, anyway. Please help me with this, someone, as I truly want to understand.

thebigspoon 7 years, 3 months ago

Interestingly enough, I emailed the Speaker of the House, and have received no reply. So I did something, rather than posting sarcastic, meaningless non-answers to my question. Too, I have placed phone calls to my Representative AND my Senator, and still have received no reply. This leads me to believe that either they don't know (probable) or don't care to find out (more probable) or both. In case you are interested, one can find the Kansas Constitution online very simple, and it's written pretty clearly, and it still says nothing about prosecutorial powers vis a vis the State Department. And, by the way, I'm sure you meant for me to call my legislator, since we don't have congressmen in Kansas. Maybe a little knowledge will make your comments a lot more germane.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 3 months ago

Nazi´s calling for papers.

The Constitution is pretty clear that US Citizens are not required to carry citizenship papers on them.

The GOP does not seem to hold the Constitution as a personal value.

Maxwell Butterfield 7 years, 3 months ago

Do you give a speech to the liquor store clerk when he asks you for your drivers licence? How about the cop when he pulls you over?

ivalueamerica 7 years, 3 months ago

Buying liquor is not a Constitutional right. Perhaps a civics class will help you.

Kontum1972 7 years, 3 months ago

well eventually we are going to be required to have ID numbers tattooed on our bodies...or a barcode.... then they can just swipe u....

a very large majority of the GOPees's cant read...i seriously doubt they never enrolled in a Constitutional class...or even read the Constitution..i first read the Constitution when i was in the 5th grade in Mrs.Rickeys American Government class @ Stony Point grade school we had to memorize the Preamble....

The Preamble demonstrates that the federal government of the United States was not created as an agreement between or coalition of the states. Instead, it was the product of "the People" with the power to govern the People directly, unlike the government under the Articles of Confederation, which only governed the People indirectly through rules imposed on the states.

of the people, by the people..for the people...Get it!

not some self-serving billionarie...who probably never served to protect this country when the call came...and they call themselve's Patriots....

i never met any "rich kids" when i was in the military serving overseas in HARM's way

Laura Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

I have no clue where my birth certificate is. I do have a passport but a lot of people don't and the costs are prohibitive. If I wasn't registered to vote (and didn't have a passport something at least half the people I know don't have), I'd have to see if my parents have my birth certificate somewhere in order to do so. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has no clue where theirs is and, again, it's not free to get a copy from the state--I just checked and they do charge a fee.

If anyone is charged anything for any reason to register to vote or to vote itself, this bill has to be illegal.

If it passes and becomes law, I'm walking to the polling place without my purse and drivers license and demanding the right to vote. I'm registered, my name shows up in their rolls. I'll take my voter registration card (free) and nothing else. They can arrest me.

weegee 7 years, 3 months ago

Yet another fool who parrots every talking point ever heard...I hope you feel secure in your beliefs. Have you ever bothered to research anything?

Liberty275 7 years, 3 months ago

LOL. You'll just fill out a provisional ballot that will never be counted.

gl0ckUser 7 years, 3 months ago

OMG people VOTE NO. NO to ID's There is no way the state is going to give everyone an ID for free and you dont need an ,ID you know who you are. There are ways to make Fake Id's then what ?

Pass more laws ?

jmadison 7 years, 3 months ago

The Supreme Court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals have determined that similar laws in Indiana and Georgia were legal, as long as the State provides picture ID to any eligible voter that swears he does not have an acceptable form of government issued voter ID.

sallyone 7 years, 3 months ago

I think this is an excellent idea, as of right now anybody can walk in and say they are someone and than vote, that's not right in my mind and if you think it is than theres something wrong with yours!

Stu Clark 7 years, 3 months ago

This is a problem? How many times have you arrived at your polling place and found that someone has already signed the book in your place? In 50 years I've never had this happen. Maybe your experience is different.

Maxwell Butterfield 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm honestly confused as to why this is an issue. I am a natural-born American citizan with a state-issued ID that I would be HAPPY to show at my local polling place when asked. The only people who should be concerned are the ones who shouldn't be voting in the first place. Period.

TheShaman 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm honestly confused as to why, at 31 years old, I suddenly have to go out and PAY the state of Kansas $22 ($14 for the state ID card, plus $8 for the photo if I'm reading the fee schedule correctly) to exercise my RIGHT to vote just because the only photo ID I've ever has is a now 12 year old college ID card that I'm sure won't be accepted.

...actually I'm not sure if I feel like this is terrible, earth-shattering, end-of-the-world type legislation like some people seem to, but the more I think about it the less I see the need for it and the less I like it.

If the state offers me a free one then I'm fine with that. If they don't I'll still get one of some sort, but I'm not sure how it wouldn't be a poll tax.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

What kind of 31 year old doesn't have a driver license or some other ID besides a college ID card? Critical thinkers would imagine that one cannot open a bank account, get a credit card, board a plane or even get a job without proper ID. Maybe this one lives with mommy and she drives his lame butt around. Obviously it is entitlement minded since it wants the state to provide what it will not provide for itself. Even illegals understand they need ID in this country.

TheShaman 7 years, 3 months ago

Eh, certainly not the majority, but also not that uncommon in highly urbanized areas (and I am new here) where public transportation and foot travel is ubiquitous and driving a hassle/inconvenience.

I'll admit that I've never flown, when we moved I rode out here in a car with my wife. I've been with BankBoston/FleetBank/BankofAmerica since high school. Have a credit card, three actually, through the same bank. Gainfully employed, right here in Lawrence.

I didn't say I wouldn't provide an ID for myself, I absolutely will before if it turns out that I can't vote without one, however I do maintain that I shouldn't HAVE TO have a state issued ID in order to exercise a constitutional RIGHT. I'm not quite sure what law or statute states that I, or anyone else has to have one.

Here's a question...What percentage of people in the urban areas of Kansas don't have DL's? What percentage of those don't have another form of (state accepted) photo ID? What is the percentage of voter apathy among those persons? Will that percentage increase or decrease once you tell them that they have to jump through hoops in order to go to the polls?

bshm 7 years, 3 months ago

This is great. I love when our government wastes time, money, and other resources on "problems" that are practically non-existent.

But seriously folks, you all should be worried that Kobach is working for the state that you live in.

douglas6280 7 years, 3 months ago

Cannibalism is also "practically non-existent" but we have a law against it...

thomgreen 7 years, 3 months ago

Is this a bait and switch? I don't remember all these politicians running on the platforms of changing abortion rights, breaking unions, and attacking our voting rights (while giving the Secretary of State the power to prosecute?...really?) when the elections were going on. What next?, prohibition?

JayhawkVeteran 7 years, 3 months ago

Are there eligibility requirements to vote? Until they eliminate those requirements, you should probably have to prove you meet them.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 3 months ago

Remember folks, vote early and vote often.

thebigspoon 7 years, 3 months ago

Again, folks and gentlepeople, the real issue here is that Kochbach is attempting to gain powers of prosecution for an executive branch department, a practice specifically prohibited by the constitution of the state. Does anyone see an issue here? The voter ID front is a convenioent, emotional issue used to hide the real meaning of this bill: that the executive brance thinks it can circumvent the constitution in this way. We are in a terribly precarious position in our state if we stand by and let this happen. History shows, time and again, that the usurpation of judicial review is the precursor to the complete takedown of constitutional--read: legal--operation of government. When the executive branch of government can proceed directly to prosecution of the laws of the state, no check and balance exists and the citizen as an individual loses his recourse to tyrany. If you think I'm being melodramatic, do some research. Start with ancient Rome, skip to Germany in the late 20s and thirties; try as many searches as you wish, and the end result is the same. As citizens of Kansas we have to be afraid, regardless of our political leanings, of the erosion of our individual rights. Talk to each other, talk to your legislator, talk to as many as you can. The only way to reetain our freedoms is to resist this very type of pandering to the selfishness and greed of the very people who are putting this type of legislation forward.

disgustedagain 7 years, 3 months ago

this is so appalling. I don't have a passport and god knows where my birth certificate is. I've voted every election (including primaries) since I was old enough. And I am a US citizen but this requirement makes me think it's time to move to Canada. Just ridiculous. It's discriminatory enough to require photo ID's, but at least driver's licenses are fairly common.

I am thoroughly appalled that reasonable people are applauding this idiocy. As if KS has a lot of voter fraud. Every study has made it clear that voter fraud in KS is rare. My mom doesn't drive anymore! and she doesn't have a valid passport at 89--she doesn't deserve this stupidity. This is all about Kris Kobach trying to make a name for himself amongst far-right Republican and anti-immigrant activists because he wants to to go on to DC politics. He should be ashamed of himself.

Fossick 7 years, 3 months ago

Boy, that big Kobach face on the front page is giving people the heebie-jeebies today, isn't it?

disgustedagain 7 years, 3 months ago

damn right. every time I see his face, I shudder.

itwasthedukes 7 years, 3 months ago

Again with the zooming in on the face of the bad people. LJWorld please try harder to make it look like you are covering this matter fairly. You are very transparent in your views, not good for a "news" paper.

thebigspoon 7 years, 3 months ago

The purpose of iwtd's comment was to let everyone know that he is afraid, just like most closet Nazis, to have the visage of his leader be known publicly, lest that person collect the spittle (and other bodily secretions) that should rightfully be deposited on him by thinking, law-abiding citizens. Working behind the scenes is the method of choice of those who only have the courage of others' convictions.

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

How will people using mail-in ballots be showing their IDs?

Chris Golledge 7 years, 3 months ago

What will this really do?

Make it more difficult for a minute number of people who should not be voting to vote. Check

Make it more difficult for a larger number of those that do not have all their records readily available to vote. Check

Now, what demographic have their records in order less than others? Perhaps the young people? Who typically votes more for Democrats than for Republicans? Umm, young people.

Who is pushing this legislation? Republicans

Now, do you think this is really about preventing voter faud or giving the party currently in power every themselves advantage they can?

Matt Needham 7 years, 3 months ago

Good to see our leaders busy solving such dire problems. I tried to find some examples of serious voter fraud in Kansas. I did see that back in the 1800s there was a problem with folks from Missouri coming over to vote. Other than that our voting history seems extremely consistent. Here's the figures on the last 30 years:

It would seem that Kansas is a soundly red state except when an independent like Ross Perot gets involved. I don't have a problem showing my ID. I've always offered it anyway. I just wonder if the politicians have any plans to tackle some of the real problems facing the state?

nut_case 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't mind the voter id, heck I have to show my driver license, birth certificate, major credit card and a note from my mother just to get an allergy tablet. But I would also say, scrap the voter ID and make potential voters answer a few simple questions about the constitution and bill of rights. If you don't get the questions right, no voting!

verity 7 years, 3 months ago

Maybe I've missed the answer somewhere, but does this mean that, although I have a current voter registration card and several photo IDs, I will still have to produce a birth certificate and be reconfirmed as a US citizen? The whole thing really doesn't make a lot of sense unless re-certification under the new rules is mandatory. After all, we all might have lied the first time around.

The funny thing is that I paid the State something like $26.00 to get a copy of my birth certificate so I could apply for Social Security, but when I applied online, I didn't need anything to identify myself other than tell them what my Social Security number was.

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