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Archive for Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kansas Senate advances voter ID proposals

March 22, 2011, 5:15 p.m. Updated March 23, 2011, 12:51 a.m.

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— Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s proposal to require Kansas voters to show photo identification at the polls won first-round approval Tuesday in the state Senate, although other aspects of his plan to eliminate voter fraud were left out.

Senators advanced the measure on a voice vote and plan to take final action today. It still includes Kobach’s proposal to require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to produce a passport, birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, but senators would delay the rule until 2013, instead of starting it next year, as Kobach wants.

The Senate’s version of the bill also omits proposals from Kobach to increase penalties for election crimes and to give the secretary of state’s office the authority to file and prosecute voter fraud cases in state courts. The House’s version of the bill contains those provisions.

Still, Kobach said he’s pleased by the Senate’s action. Negotiators will have to resolve the two chambers’ differences, and a key senator said the work is likely to move the final version back toward what Kobach prefers, particularly on the proof-of-citizenship requirement.

“Kansas is one step closer to having the most secure elections in America,” Kobach said.

Kobach, a Republican, won last year’s election with 59 percent of the vote after making election fraud the key issue of his campaign. But he’s long faced skepticism that significant election fraud occurs in Kansas, and Democrats argue that his proposals will suppress turnout and decrease the number of registered voters.

“This is an onerous piece of legislation,” said Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat. “Creating that extra hurdle and that extra burden is absolutely wrong.”

The bill would make Kansas the 10th state with a requirement that voters show photo ID at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But Kobach contends Kansas would be ahead of all other states if it combines that requirement with a proof-of-citizenship rule and the other measures he proposed.

A Senate committee voted to delay the proof-of-citizenship requirement until 2013 to give the state time to conduct an educational campaign. Kobach opposed the move, and Senate Ethics and Elections Committee Chairwoman Terrie Huntington, of Fairway, told fellow GOP senators in a caucus Tuesday that she’ll work to eliminate the delay in negotiations with the House.

Kobach said after the Senate’s debate that it’s “outrageous” to claim that the bill will suppress turnout or voter registration because, “It suggests an ill intent.”

Backers of the bill said it includes provisions to prevent either from happening. For example, it requires the state to provide free non-driver IDs and allows people to bring a photo ID or documents proving their citizenship to election officials after they’ve gone to the polls or filled out a voter registration form.

Kobach released a study in January that said the secretary of state’s office has received 59 reports of alleged irregularities involving at least 221 ballots since 1997 — twice as many as documented by an internal report three years ago. The alleged irregularities don’t represent proven cases of voter fraud and are based on sometimes vague reports of wrongdoing.

Comments

SouthWestKs 3 years ago

TimW, Your are right on, I believe Kansas has put that in to play.. Ask a new driver if they had to show a birth certificate to get a license.. If you are "older than dirt" you may not have to show a birth certificate..

beatrice, Go find a 10 year old male or female & have them vote.. Then get back with me..

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seeker_of_truth 3 years ago

Hope all of you are equally anxious when this goes to court to pay for court costs and it will cost taxpayers a lot to defend and lose this case.

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SouthWestKs 3 years ago

TimW,

Voting is a privilege as I think there is a age requirement.. Also you will soon have to show a birth certificate to get a drivers license the first time.. I believe this came down from the feds to all states & territories..

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tomatogrower 3 years ago

Thank goodness. Once we get rid of all this voter fraud, these Republicans won't keep getting elected.

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Agnostick 3 years ago

What happened? Dd the senate run out of stripper poles?

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beatrice 3 years ago

If the legislators didn't show their IDs before voting, can this now be ruled voter fraud? Can they be arrested?

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orangechubb 3 years ago

Voting is a right for U.S. citizens. If you are not a U.S. citizen you do not have this right. Why is showing ID a problem? Should only be a problem for illegals.

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Kontum1972 3 years ago

just fraudulent politicians..with BIG money behind them..."Kochi$im" just a couple of rich kids whose father ignored them as they were growing up..they problably were never Eagle Scouts.....LoL!

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Scott Morgan 3 years ago

Larzia, seriously, how many people do not have an I.D.? Most who don't do not wish to have one. Homeless for instance who are or have been on government assistance programs.

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Jake Esau 3 years ago

As long as there's a way to get a free ID that can be used to vote (which it looks like the bill requires that), I don't see what the problem is here. That being said, somehow I get the feeling that Kansas is not a hotbed of voter fraud.

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Kontum1972 3 years ago

i got ID'd @ a strip club.....i heard a rumor that kansas will be the first state in the union to bar code its citizens..and the ones who do not have these will be hunted down by helicopter and shot on site....then fined for littering....

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

"“Kansas is one step closer to having the most secure elections in America,” Kobach said."

They already are secure. What he really means is that this vote-suppression measure will make it easier to manipulate elections with other vote-suppression techniques in the Republican quiver.

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JJE007 3 years ago

Will this program cost money? - YES Does this proposal feed paranoia? - YES Can this program make a statistically significant difference? - NO

More government...NOW! Oops, I mean "NO!"

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sulliedotcom 3 years ago

I agree. I don't understand why this is an issue. Require an ID, don't require an ID, I don't care. Just figure it out and get on with it.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

You have to present a photo ID to prove that you're qualified to drive on a public road already if you are asked to produce such.

What's the big deal?

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