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Archive for Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kansas Senate approves its version of bill requiring voters to show photo ID

March 23, 2011, 2:43 p.m. Updated March 23, 2011, 4:05 p.m.

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach discusses election fraud issues during a state Senate Ethics and Elections Committee meeting, Thursday, March 17, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka. Kobach is pushing proposals to require voters to show photo identification at the polls and to require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove they're citizens.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach discusses election fraud issues during a state Senate Ethics and Elections Committee meeting, Thursday, March 17, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka. Kobach is pushing proposals to require voters to show photo identification at the polls and to require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove they're citizens.

State Sens. David Haley, left, of Kansas City; Kelly Kultala, center, of Kansas City; and Oletha Faust-Goudeau, right, of Wichita, all Democrats, confer during a Senate debate on an election fraud bill Tuesday, March 22, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka. Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, is pushing legislation to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

State Sens. David Haley, left, of Kansas City; Kelly Kultala, center, of Kansas City; and Oletha Faust-Goudeau, right, of Wichita, all Democrats, confer during a Senate debate on an election fraud bill Tuesday, March 22, 2011, at the Statehouse in Topeka. Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, is pushing legislation to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

— Kansas is all but certain to start requiring its voters to show photo identification at the polls next year, but a vote Wednesday in the state Senate raised questions about how other election fraud proposals from Secretary of State Kris Kobach will fare.

The Senate passed, 36-3, a bill that includes Kobach’s photo ID proposal. The measure also includes his plan to require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to show election officials a birth certificate, passport or other proof of citizenship but delays the rule until 2013, a year later than Kobach wanted.

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 election fraud cases in state courts.

The House’s version of the bill, approved last month, follows what Kobach wants, and negotiators for the two chambers are expected to draft the final version. Many Democrats have complained that the GOP secretary of state’s proposals would suppress voter turnout and decrease voter registration numbers, but Republicans hold large majorities in both chambers and argue that Kansans want elections to be more secure.

“It’s going to be a hybrid of what the Senate did and what Kobach wanted,” said House Elections Committee Chairman Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican who will be his chamber’s lead negotiator. “Kris got elected by an overwhelming majority, and it was on that issue.”

But senators said delaying the proof-of-citizenship requirement for a year will give the state more time to educate people.

They also said the delay would allow the Department of Revenue to get a planned system for scanning citizenship documents of people seeking driver’s licenses up and running, so the documents can be provided electronically to election officials. The department already had been planning to put the system in place because of a federal law designed to crack down on illegal immigration.

During a caucus meeting Tuesday, Senate Ethics and Elections Committee Chairwoman Terrie Huntington, of Fairway, told fellow GOP senators that the proposed delay could be eliminated during negotiations with the House. She was less sure Wednesday, saying the outcome could depend on how quickly the Department of Revenue’s system is ready.

And Sen. John Vratil, a Leawood Republican, said: “There will be some negotiations, but I think the Senate is pretty firm.”

The bill would make Kansas the 10th state to require voters to show photo ID at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 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.

Kobach 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 from critics who question just how significant an issue election fraud is in Kansas.

He 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.

Critics contend many perceived irregularities boil down to mistakes by prospective voters and even election officials themselves, not deliberate fraud. Haley said the new voter ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements are most likely to affect poor, minority and elderly voters.

“This chilling effect on our democracy is unnecessary,” Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat, said in explaining his vote against the Senate version Wednesday.

Comments

sierraclub 3 years ago

wah wah wah

cry cry cry

left and right both are running this country

wah wah wah

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tomatogrower 3 years ago

It's a good thing that the 95 year-old vet in this story doesn't live in Kansas. Kobach would have him arrested.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/03/23/dnt.man.may.not.be.citizen.KOMO?hpt=T2

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ivalueamerica 3 years ago

I am so sick of the GOP NAZI style of big government with jackbooted thugs now running the streets demanding to see our paperzzz.

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ksrush 3 years ago

I think it is only proper for everyone offended by this racist, poll tax, govt on your throat bill to show "the man" the depth of your convictions. Next election do not vote. Furthermore do not register to vote - ever. If you want to send a message to " the man" this should do it loud and clear. Consumer 1 - you nailed this one

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Jimo 3 years ago

How many jobs does this create? None.

What's the GOP plan for jobs? We were told for years if we just slashed taxes and regulations and kept enough lefties from voting and banned gays and abortion and flag-burning, billionaires (or at least their money) would flock to Kansas. Just how many generations was this outcome supposed to take again?

Kansas. Chief Exports: wheat, cattle, educated people.

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sunny 3 years ago

...and everyone living off the Government teet should not be allowed to vote. That would do away with the Democrat voters! GO KOBACH!

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frankwiles 3 years ago

59 reports of "alleged irregularities" in 14 years. Is this really what we should be spending time on? 221 possibly incorrect votes in a state of 2 million people over a 14 year period. I think we should also have a huge State House investigation into Larry, the capital janitor, who sometimes takes a nap on the job and always forgets the trash in that one office. Seems equally important.

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poto63 3 years ago

If I understand all who are not in favor of this legislation ... we shouldn't have to show proof of citizenship and thus the legal right to vote?

So, even legal residents who are not citizens should be able to vote even though during immigration it is clearly communicated that the right to vote is not a granted to all who are not citizens?

Sweet, I should send my spouse down to register so we can vote more republicans and tea party members into office!

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Laura Wilson 3 years ago

This isn't about keeping illegal immigrants from voting because they're NOT. It's a poll tax. Until they offer universal FREE IDs and birth certificates, you'll have to pay to vote. It's against the law. I will fully support any challenge to this. I hope there are protests at every polling site, I'll join in.

If I had to register to vote after this bill passes, I have no clue where my birth certificate is. I asked my parents and they don't know either. I'd have to pay to get a new one. I can afford it but not everyone can and a lot of people will see this as a hassle and just not vote.

The US already has a dismal voting turn out. This is just going to make it worse.

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sierraclub 3 years ago

36-3 vote!!! Let the left and the right blame each other!!!! lol....no wonder nothing ever gets done!!!!!! lol.....gee, people, figure it out. Who is protecting the illegals? Who is wanting unemployement benefits to last longer?? Who is wanting more entitlements for the unemployed??? gee......

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seeker_of_truth 3 years ago

That is easily explained by voters who can't think for themselves and only rely on fear tatics from politicians. They don't understand that these politicians only care about being elected. Who do you think is going to be stuck paying for defending a losing case in court? No one has ever accused a Republican of caring about ordinary people.

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sierraclub 3 years ago

Hey, idiots, look at the voting count. It passed 36-3!!! lol......You cannot blame this mess on Kobach alone!

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md 3 years ago

How in the whole wide world could people be against this? Are you people hammerd or brain washed or what? This obviously the right thing to do.

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seeker_of_truth 3 years ago

Hope all you rightwing and teabagggers are happy with spending taxpayer money to defend this law. If there is any way to bill Kobach for this we need to find out how. Alot of money to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Other than wondering if fraud is not how all the Republicans got elected.

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maxcrabb 3 years ago

Someday, Kansas will realize voting for the right has gotten them jack diddly.

...someday.

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Kim Murphree 3 years ago

Can anyone say Jim Crow?

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pittstatebb 3 years ago

What follows will be a lawsuit defended by public dollars and most probably funded by public dollars.

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Steve Bunch 3 years ago

The only fraud committed on the electorate was Kobach himself.

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consumer1 3 years ago

What follows will be the liberal left whining and name calling everyone who disagrees with their opinions. Just watch and see how many names I get called for just writing this.

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