Archive for Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kobach task force completes plan for election regulation, use of voter IDs

November 23, 2011, 2:14 p.m. Updated November 23, 2011, 2:45 p.m.


— A special task force created by Secretary of State Kris Kobach has finished writing 15 pages of regulations detailing how the new Kansas voter identification laws will be implemented next year by county poll workers.

Kobach said Tuesday that the work of the 17-member group outlines how county election officials will require voters to show valid forms of identification when registering to vote and requesting ballots during election. The laws were approved by legislators and signed by Gov. Sam Brownback in the spring.

Kobach, a conservative Republican who is known nationally for his work on immigration reforms laws, said the regulations represent the work of “the collective experience” of elections officers from across Kansas.

“I’m very pleased with these regulations. We have already shared these proposed regulations with one state that is also implementing photo identification,” Kobach said.

The law requires that, starting in 2013, people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas must show proof of citizenship. Kobach wants to push that date to March 2012 so that it can be in place for the upcoming presidential primary and election. That would require legislative approval. Critics of the new laws have said that the restrictions will suppress voter turnout, particularly among minorities.

Kobach defends the laws, saying they make Kansas elections secure by minimizing the possibility of voter fraud, a major theme of his 2010 election campaign.

Kobach’s office will publish a notice in this week’s edition of the Kansas Register, the state’s official legal publication, to give notice of a January hearing on the regulations. The public can comment on them in the weeks leading up to the hearing.

The task force also developed the policies and procedures that election officials and poll workers will use on election day and when people register to vote. For example, the rules will tell election workers what to do when photos on people’s IDs look nothing like them.

In that instance, a voter would be allowed to cast a ballot if the date of birth on the identification matches the poll records, the voter submits another form of photo identification or an election worker has knowledge that the person in the photograph is indeed the person seeking to vote.

Kobach said the task force has also found areas where efficiencies and uniform practices can be implemented, such as common forms or envelopes used by all 105 counties for election purposes.


Shelley Bock 6 years, 7 months ago

Every time I hear about Kobach's efforts I laugh. Any illegal Mexican who would go to the Courthouse to register to vote, giving his name and address, and then proceed to the polling place to vote must be crazy. No illegal wants to draw attention to him or herself by giving information to the government. Illegals don't show up and vote. They want as little attention as is possible.

Clearly, as many have pointed out before, this effort is designed to restrict voter rolls by excluding potential Democratic voters who ARE citizens. Kobach can pontificate about the sanctity of the voter rolls, but he and his cohorts are only trying to restrict the numbers of voters and those who are more likely to vote Democrat than Republican.

Jeff Zamrzla 6 years, 7 months ago

I am taking leave of this state soon. I will not return until the state either comes to its senses or I'm buried next to my late wife. I know my act is a singular one that has little consequence to most. Still I will sleep better where I know I am represented by sane people. Too bad Kansas will miss my money (enough to retire at 45 and live very well) in the local banks. I would rather keep it somewhere safe and sane that with this bunch of nut jobs.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 7 months ago

My husband, son and I leave on December 31 of this year. You are not alone.

Dan Matthews 6 years, 7 months ago

Good. It looks like that's three less democrat/liberals that we need to worry about. I'd say the new regulations are having the right effect....

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 7 months ago

The right effect? You mean the effect of driving the state into becoming another Mississippi; last in everything? The effect of becoming a "state" equivalent of Somalia? Wow, you're willing to pay a pretty high price for being surrounded by people that only think like you.

fouroclock 6 years, 7 months ago

I've voted conservative republican for the last 30 years because I'm pro life but this move by Kobach is a blatant overreach for the sake of the party and to make a name for himself. Republicans need to get back to serving all Kansans instead of selfishly manipulating cumbersome policies at the expense of law abiding citizens.

Catalano 6 years, 7 months ago

So where's everyone moving to? I want to leave, too.

63BC 6 years, 7 months ago

The ex-Democratic Governor of Indiana has publicly stated that his signature was forged on Democratic nominating petitions for Obama in 2008.

As the story indicates, there were "dozens if not hundreds" of faked signatures in one county alone.

The local Democratic party chair has resigned in the wake of the investigation.

kochmoney 6 years, 7 months ago

So how many people fraudulently voted in those stories? Oh, right. Zero.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 7 months ago

Nominating petitions are not the same as casting a vote. Well congrats kansas you, kobach and the sleaze for a governor have joined the rest of the racist states across the country. A law for a non existent problem what a bunch of low lifes.

63BC 6 years, 7 months ago

True, but the same mechanism could be used to achieve fraudulent registrations, and once that is on the books the best way to safeguard the ballot is through a voter-ID requirement. This is, after all, a former Democratic Governor saying flatly on the record that his name was forged on Obama nominating petitions. That is very troubling.

It should also be noted that the legislation in question was supported by a super-majority of Democrats in the Kansas Legislature. The coalition that passed it was bipartisan.

kochmoney 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm so against apples, that I'm going to tell you a story about oranges and claim it's the same thing.

No, the same mechanism can not be used to fraudulently VOTE. Registrations and votes are not the same thing. Petitions and votes are not the same thing.

63BC 6 years, 7 months ago

All that is required to register fraudulently is a faked signature, particularly if one registers by mail. Once a fraudulent registration is achived, there is no effective mechanism for exposing that fraud or preventing fraudulent ballots from being cast other than a photo-ID requirement. The state cannot know how widespread that practice is without regulations like those being proposed but asserting that it does not exist at all seems rather fanciful.

For a detailed account of widespread efforts to undermine ballot integrity, I recommend WSJ writer John Fund's book "Stealing Elections"

Again, more than two-thirds of the Democrats in the Legislature supported these reforms.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"For a detailed account of widespread efforts to undermine ballot integrity, I recommend WSJ writer John Fund's book "Stealing Elections""

Did he find any? Or did he just posit out how it might be theoretically possible?

kochmoney 6 years, 7 months ago

Apparently the book itself is a fraud and uses distortions and outright lies to make its case.

kochmoney 6 years, 7 months ago

The effective mechanism for preventing the fraudulent vote from being cast is that it's not an efficient way to sway elections. It requires a lot of manpower, you have no guarantee that your plants will vote the way you want them to vote, and it's easy to get caught. Voter suppression is a much more effective way to influence the outcome of the actual vote, and one way to do that is to... wait for it... require photo IDs at the polls.

Other methods include sending flyers or making robo calls that list the wrong date for the election or the wrong address for absentee voting. You can also narrow the window for registrations, remove same day registration, etc. All of which have been tried in recent elections. If you want got get upset about people actually cheating the system, that's where you should look, not at Kobach's unicorn problem.

Jeff Zamrzla 6 years, 7 months ago

there is help for the paranoid; medication and therapy do wonders these days.

kernal 6 years, 7 months ago

I want to see Kobach's birth certificate!

blindrabbit 6 years, 7 months ago

Included by not mentioned here are additional requirements for voting including goose stepping into the polling place, a prompt coming to attention, clicking heels together and a seig heil salute to a framed picture of Herr Kobach on the wall.

pace 6 years, 7 months ago

If the name on the voter registration varies from the birth certificate, one needs to produce the legal name change certified paper, such as marriage certificate, court paper of adoption, or legal name change. Or if the name variation comes from the insane drivers license clerk who changed my name when I got my last one, which placed my maiden name as my first name and a previous married name as my middle name. I have to go to court to get the license name changed back. I think to be sure, besides the birth certificate and different legal documents, we should ask Master Koch, for permission notes. The bros are very generous. All you have to do is swear to vote for his gang.

kochmoney 6 years, 7 months ago

When I went to the DMV, there were several people in line who had been there before and had to get some document or other in order to change residency. One woman had to go get her birth certificate and some other form to show she'd changed her last name.

dabbindan 6 years, 7 months ago

in addition to suppressing minority votes, it will i think also suppress as well the vote of the average democrat. my take:

think about the personalities of democrats and republicans. this is a bit stereotypical but in the larger picture i believe it holds up. republicans tend to be rule followers, democrats more free spirits. statistically which group is more likely to have all the proper forms and have them on their person? when you look at the totality of each group, the percentage that this impacts may only be 5 or 6 % but in some elections, that's enough.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

In San Francisco, there have been proposals to allow illegal immigrants to vote in local elections, school board election, etc. There have been proposals that would allow them to get state I.D. cards to they can get accounts at banks and fly on airplanes.
While I'm relatively certain that illegal immigrants voting in previous elections has not been a significant problem, I can't say with any confidence that that will always be the case in the future. There are millions of illegal immigrants in this country and probably tens of thousands in this state. Reasonable measures to guarantee only eligible voters vote seems to be a good way to counter the efforts of those on the other side of the equation. Courts can decide what is reasonable. Until greater efforts are made to enforce our immigration laws, until advocates for the rights of illegal immigrants start advocating for the respect of our laws, I can support the reasonable efforts being proposed to guarantee the integrity of our elections.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

That does bring up an interesting point.

What difference does it really make if a relatively small number of ineligible folks votes? It's not like there isn't a fairly thorough vetting process to see who even gets to run for office (mostly to make sure they are part of the game rigged in favor of the oligarchs who select most of the candidates.)

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

"What difference does it make if a relatively small number of ineligible folks vote?" I think the fear is that with access to state issued I.D. cards, along with the push to allow illegal immigrants the right to vote in some elections, and then add in the fact that there seems to be little desire to enforce our immigration laws, that the relatively small number might increase in the future. What difference does it make if a small number of ineligible people actually vote? What difference does it make if a relatively small number of eligible voters are kept away from the polls because the requirements for I.D.'s is too burdensome? The answer should be the same. We need to make sure that zero ineligible votes are cast while guaranteeing that zero eligible people are dissuaded from voting. That's what courts are for, to decide if the measures in place to ensure both are done with due caution and reason.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

For all practical purposes, there is no voter fraud, so the new laws can't eliminate that which already didn't exist. But it most certainly will prevent otherwise qualified voters from registering and casting their votes.

In other words, if the result of an action gives indication of the intent, it's pretty clear that Kobach's intent is suppression of legitimate votes, not protecting agains "voter fraud."

But we've been through all of this. Those that refuse to see what's going on will never leave the flock.

mkhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Oh brother. Quit watching FOX and wake up. None of this would stop anyone from voting twice, now would it? It is a waste of money, and only serving to advance Kobach's personal agenda of self. Jaysus!

Cody Ochs 6 years, 7 months ago

It is my understanding that the San Francisco initiatives are meant to do away with something called "taxation without representation," whatever that is. I guess there are some people in this country that pay taxes, but have no say in how they are spent. Apparently, some guys decided a couple of hundred years ago that that was wrong. At least that is what the schools taught me. But everybody knows that schools are really liberal elite indoctrination centers.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

Do you believe that everyone is entitled to vote? Or everyone who pays taxes is entitled to vote? That means every immigrant, legal or not, every teen under the age of 18 who has a job, every person who pays taxes yet does not register to vote, all these people have the right to vote?
Perhaps you're taking the quote out of context. Maybe that's why the quote of an individual was not put into the Constitution.

vuduchyld 6 years, 7 months ago

Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's where Kansas used to be Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's our new theocracy!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 7 months ago

Koback is, has been and clearly will continue to be the trumpet section for the terrorists in the Republican Party who will do anything, stretch any law, allow any fraud to assure that we continue to get clueless, gutless, racist, and downright fraudulant office holders in the State of Kansas. Hitler did not take over Germany. The people gave it to him. There is a lesson there.

pace 6 years, 7 months ago

Besides the elderly and the poor, women, who change their last name more often the men, will need additional documents. The state of Kansas just asked us to provide a marriage certificate as proof of marriage to continue our health insurance coverage. They gave us 20 days. We have been married 25 years and on the same insurance, working the same jobs. What a pain in the ****.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 7 months ago

Just out of curiosity, would someone please tell me, if voter fraud is so rampant in this state, why we have had a Republican majority in the legislature for well over twenty years? Hmmm, maybe it really has been rampant.

pinecreek 6 years, 7 months ago

How will they regulate absentee/overseas voters?

KS 6 years, 7 months ago

I have said it before and I will say it again.........if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all. As much as I want to say more, I won't.

kernal 6 years, 7 months ago

That is absolutely crazy. Good on that teen for keeping a cool head about the idiot adults around her.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow, Brownback must really be feeling the heat if he has to go after harmless high school tweeters.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 7 months ago

This is scary. Stifling free speech. And, would sniffing tweets be considered invasion of privacy like wiretapping is?

chicago95 6 years, 7 months ago

Notwithstanding all of the legitimate complaints about this law and the likelihood that it will disproportionately affect eligible Democratic voters... who suppressed the 70% who did not vote in the last election?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 7 months ago

Can I have some of what you're smoking? Approximately two thirds of Kansas' registered voters voted in the last election in 2010. Not a huge turnout but more than half.

chicago95 6 years, 7 months ago

My mistake. Actually, it was only 58% who did not vote in the 2010 general election. Perhaps they thought little was at stake. (It's much worse in off-years.) According to the KS Secretary of State, 33,800 out of 79,820 registered voters in Douglas County cast votes in 2010. Find the official record here: .

kernal 6 years, 7 months ago

Lethargy and ignorance. It amazed me how many people did not know anything about the candidates platforms. I think most of the people who don't vote don't do so because they've either not had time or had no interest in keeping up with the candidates views, opinions and stances.

The most important duty of every citizen in a free country is to know and understand the issues and to vote wisely.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

Our political culture is one that relies on mis- and disinformation to the voters, and keeping the real work of candidate selection and policy decisions to the oligarchy that really runs this country. Keeping potential voters alienated from and disinterested in the process keeps participation low, and elections therefore much easier to control.

Kobach's "reforms" are nothing more than one more way to suppress voter turnout, while keeping his name in the news.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

Exactly who's responsibility is it to be informed? There is ample information available out there that any voter wanting more information has access to it. If they choose to get it from FOX, MSMBC or CNN, that's their right. They can believe what they want and disbelieve what they want. They can vote a straight party line without even looking at the candidates' name. They can eenie, meenie, minoe, moe. That too is their right.
You're not suggesting a literacy test, are you?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

It's much like the junkie and his dealer-- who's responsible for the addiction? The answer is that both are.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

I disagree. A voter has a very real affirmative obligation to make themselves aware. That's my opinion. That said, in the real world, there is no criteria for how a voter should or should not cast their vote. Wasn't it said that Kennedy got some votes because he was the good looking guy? I may not think that's right, but does my opinion matter more than theirs? Blue dog Democrats, party line voting, FOX News, it's all the same and it's always been with us.
I'd be willing to bet good hard earned money that if you went back to the Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley & David Brinkley days, those guys voted overwhelmingly Democrat, even though as good journalists that they were, they were actual members of no political party. I don't need to know the party affiliation of Bill O'Reilly or Rachel Maddow to take a good guess how they vote.
BTW - I'm much more likely to be influenced by your writings than anything the Koch Bros. might send through the airwaves. I read you much more often.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

And journalists have an obligation to tell the truth, don't you think?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd say that the line between journalism and entertainment has become blurred. I think of Walter Cronkite as a journalist and I think of Bill O'Reilly as an entertainer. Interestingly, I think Walter Cronkite thought of himself as a journalist and I think Bill O'Reilly thinks of himself as an entertainer. Therefore, Cronkite felt an obligation to the truth whereas O'Reilly does not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"I disagree. A voter has a very real affirmative obligation to make themselves aware."

I never stated otherwise.

"I'm much more likely to be influenced by your writings than anything the Koch Bros. might send through the airwaves. I read you much more often."

Thanks, I think. But in terms of electoral outcomes, it's still true that more voters get their news from teevee (including cable) than anywhere else, and it's loaded with either outright propaganda (Fox News) or so distorted with sensationalism and celebrity worship that it doesn't give the average voter either the facts or understanding thereof to make truly informed choices.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

I understand the problems with literacy tests (and other such tests), but I also understand the appeal of them.

bolshavik_vw 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't care how good they think they perfected this load of crap. I am still getting my vote in, and let me say this, it will not be for any of them. Also if my parents or father in law was not around, I would move out of this crappy state. Even though I am a 4th Generation Kansan on my moms side. I now can say I am disgusted with this whole state, The Governor, and all of his staff. SHAME ON YOU BROWNBACK,KOBACH............. And I hope that you do not win the next election.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 7 months ago

BAA's usual "no substance post". Nothing to see here. Move along.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 7 months ago

Was this another task force whose members will remain anonymous?

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