Archive for Sunday, October 16, 2011

Study: Voter ID changes make it harder for 5 million people to vote

October 16, 2011


— After decades of laws being approved aimed at making it easier to vote, a number of restrictions to enter the voting booth will be in place for the 2012 election, and Kansas is at the forefront of that trend.

A new study found the changes will make it harder for more than 5 million eligible voters to vote.

The study, done by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, states that new laws requiring voters to show photo ID, prove citizenship by producing birth certificates and other measures have been passed in several states.

“This is the most significant cutback in voting rights in decades. More voters may be affected than the margin of victory in two out of the past three presidential elections,” said Michael Waldman, the Brennan Center’s executive director.

“In 2012 we should make it easier for every eligible citizen to vote. Instead, we have made it far harder for too many. Partisans should not try to tilt the electoral playing field in this way,” he said.

Changes are in store for Kansas voters.

During the last legislative session, Kansas legislators approved a bill suggested by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback, both Republicans, that will require Kansas voters to show a photo ID to vote. The new requirement will be in effect for the 2012 election.

The bill also has a requirement, taking effect in 2013, that anyone registering to vote for the first time in Kansas will have to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate. But Kobach has said he will return to the Legislature in January and seek to move up that requirement to 2012.

Kobach, one of the national leaders on pushing for voter ID and proof of citizenship, said the Brennan Center study is flawed. “It’s not a valid number,” Kobach said of the center’s conclusion on how many voters could be affected. “It’s a completely bogus extrapolation.”

Kobach was referring to the assertion by the Brennan Center that 11 percent of U.S. citizens do not have a state-issued photo ID. That included 18 percent of people age 65 and older, and 25 percent of African-American voting-age citizens, according to the study.

Those figures are based on a national telephone survey conducted in 2006 by Opinion Research Corp., a nationally recognized polling firm.

Larry Norden, one of the study’s authors and deputy director of the Brennan Center, said those figures are still valid today and have been backed up by more recent surveys.

“Every study that I’m aware of has come up with the same findings,” Norden said.

Conservatives often cite a 2008 study by the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University as proof that problems have been exaggerated.

In a survey of three states — Indiana, Maryland and Mississippi — about 1 percent of registered voters lacked a photo ID, that study found.

That study noted that the debate over ID of voters often is partisan. Republicans cite the threat of voter fraud to pass ID; Democrats say the photo ID requirement will mean some voters won’t be able to exercise their right to vote.

“The problem with both partisan sides of the debate is that there is little evidence that would allow each side to prove its case,” the study said. “The supporters of ID can point to few examples of multiple or false voting, and the opponents cannot identify voters who did not vote because they did not have a voter ID.”


Liberty275 5 years ago

It's too bad our friends on the left couldn't have offered an acceptable bill that isn't as ridiculously harsh as this one. The silver lining is that hospitals will now be required to give copies of birth certificates free or face lawsuits contending they are in essence charging an illegal poll tax when the birth certificate is for proving a person's right to vote.

jafs 5 years ago

That's an interesting point - I wondered about that.

We'll see what happens there.

George_Braziller 5 years ago

In Kansas you have to have a current photo ID to get a copy of your birth certificate. But, you have to have a birth certificate to get a photo ID.

An expired driver's license or Kansas identification card isn't accepted because it isn't current.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

While this sounds like a real Catch-22, unfortunately, it is not true. Which is why you can order a copy of your birth certificate online or by phone.

Check out the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's website to learn how to really get a copy of your birth certificate.

George_Braziller 5 years ago

The regulations must have been recently changed. In the spring of 2010 you had to have a current photo ID to get a copy of your birth certificate.

A parent could request one for a child, but if both parents were dead and you didn't have a valid ID you were caught in a Catch 22.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

If they've relaxed the requirements for getting a birth certificate, did they really make things any more secure?

And there are lots more compelling reasons to want to get a copy of someone's birth certificate than to cast an illegal ballot that will likely have no effect on the outcome of an election. You know, like identity theft, and the various forms of theft that follow.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

"While this sounds like a real Catch-22, unfortunately, it is not true. Which is why you can order a copy of your birth certificate online or by phone.

Check out the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's website to learn how to really get a copy of your birth certificate."

True, but the state is going to have to start providing these for free, or it will be considered a poll tax.

parrothead8 5 years ago

Why was a bill needed in the first place?

Paul R Getto 5 years ago

Bingo: You win the daily prize, Jack.

bradh 5 years ago

Because of the thousands of known cases of voter fraud - the dead vote, the Dallas Cowboys football team vote (in Nevada as I recall), illegal aliens vote, Snoopy and the gang vote, ...

As Jack says, those are all Democratic votes, mostly obtained by groups like ACORN. The lawmakers only want those who can legally vote to vote. That way the vote is correct and not skewed as it has been the last few elections.

camper 5 years ago

"The silver lining is that hospitals will now be required to give copies of birth certificates"

Not the hospital I was born in. I don't think they even had a copy. I had to go to the county. I got a certificate of live birth. Not the same thing as a birth certificate. It is very hard to get a hold of a birth certificate these days.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

Folks on the "left" know this is a scam.You're wrong about the hospitals too.When has a newborn tried to vote? SMH

jenniflip 5 years ago

Wow. Way to categorize people. Bitter much?

Randy Leonard 5 years ago

Typical of the bitter, hateful, CINO extremist right. There are many people without a photo ID. The main photo ID used is the drivers license. Do you have any idea how many people don't have never drivers licenses?

labmonkey 5 years ago

My grandmother couldn't drive for years, so she had the state issued ID that served the purpose of photo ID where most use a drivers license. It is not that hard to get. If you are too lazy to get that, you are probably too lazy to vote anyway.

woodscolt 5 years ago

Yep, I used to always get a state id when I got my drivers license. It was easy until they stopped issuing them and since then I have no state picture id. Oh well, at least I can vote because I have a drivers license. To bad so sad for those who don't drive or can't drive. And, have you ever tried to get a copy of your birth certificate. Nearly impossible. You need a copy of it to get a copy of it.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

The State never stopped issuing state photo IDs.

And, nope, you don't need a copy of your birth certificate to get a copy of your birth certificate.

It's bad enough when the "other side" passes on make-believe as truth. We don't need "our" side doing it, too :-(

woodscolt 5 years ago

speaking from experience, I used to get a photo ID every time I renewed my drivers license. This was eliminated about the time the unpatriot act showed up. Dmv told me they no longer issued them because they looked to much like a drivers liscense and couldn't count on people not passing them off as one. That is a real life experience, acorn. No, you don't have to have a birth certificate to get a birth certificate, exuse me, the sarcasm went "over your head" The point being, try to get a birth certificate and discover the unimaginable roadblocks you will encounter. I would suggest that you take a step out of your comfort zone and try to get a state ID and your birth certificate and then check back with me. Then you can have an idea of what problems that the republicans have intentionally created. If they were truly worried about voter fraud they would eliminate the voting machines. They don't want to do that on the outside chance that they can commit fraud by manipulating them for their benifit.

fancy80 5 years ago

Most people will find a way to do what is important to them. If voting is important to them, then they will make sure they have the proper documentation. It really is not as hard as some people would have you believe. This is yet another thing CNN and MSNBC is brainwashing their "followers" to believe. Start planning now, make sure you have what you need in order to exercise your right to vote. it's not like they surprise us at the last minute with secret times and dates where voting will take place.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

"Ruin husbands life"??? Hmmm. Sounds like someone has an agenda.

mloburgio 5 years ago

Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control Exclusive: A laboratory shows how an e-voting machine use

It could be one of the most disturbing e-voting machine hacks to date.

Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education, according to computer science and security experts at the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The experts say the newly developed hack could change voting results while leaving absolutely no trace of the manipulation behind.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

This is the Kris Kobach who keeps signing up incompetent people to handle and report his campaign money. And we expect facts from him...why???

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"“It’s not a valid number,” Kobach said of the center’s conclusion on how many voters could be affected. “It’s a completely bogus extrapolation.”"

What's bogus, KK, are you and the non-existent voter fraud that you've demagogued into these vote suppression laws.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

This is the same Kris Kobach who has proclaimed that "he has heard that U.S. citizens are lining up for jobs at an Alabama meat-packing plant where illegal workers are leaving".

The problem? Well, never mind that, as an attorney, Kobach ought to know about "hearsay".

The fact is that "U.S. citizens" are NOT lining up for meat-packing jobs freed up by chasing off illegals. Because there ARE no such jobs. And Kobach didn't hear otherwise. He simply WILDLY misinterpreted (deliberately or not) a comment from a speech made by an Alabama Representative.

Why would anyone believe a twit who can't even keep the records he is responsible for straight...or, at best, can't hire someone who can keep those records straight.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years ago

You have to have an ID to get on welfare.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years ago

You can get an ID... there is nothing wrong with proving who you are, unless your attitude and conduct of life is less than desirable.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago can get an ID. Like all the kids who get phony IDs so they can go drinking in the bars.

Seems to me that FAR more folks in Kansas are interested in illegal drinking than illegal voting.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years ago

Laws are laws. If you dont like them then get them changed, until then they need to be obeyed. You can not pick and choose.

tecuani 5 years ago

How about prove that the laws were actually broken first? Oh wait, you can't. And neither can Kobach or Schmidt, or any other conservative pushing the voter ID issue.

Illegal immigrants don't call the police out of fear of deportation. Why on earth would they walk into a voting center and try to vote?

jafs 5 years ago

Once we start creating criteria other than citizenship to vote, it becomes a hazardous situation.

I understand the desire, of course - I've considered IQ tests, the citizenship exam that immigrants have to pass, etc.

It would be interesting to see who actually gets disqualified if we were to institute such requirements.

Getaroom 5 years ago

Liberals, allowing lawbreakers into this country? Please don't insult people with such drivel. You cannot place the issue of Illegal workers in this country on the backs of Liberals. Free market capitalist corporations have been using undocumented workers to make multi millions off the backs of migrant workers in this country for more years than you have been alive and you think they consider themselves LIBERALS? What an outright bigoted and racist bunch of bunk you spew out week after week. Rubbish!

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

Oh my gosh. You mean that, if it weren't for liberals, everyone in America would be a law-abiding citizen? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

jafs 5 years ago

Greater than the margin of victory in 2 out of the last 3 elections, according to the article.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

The Department of Justice is investigating this in all states involved.It's funny how this affects those who traditionallyt vote Democrat most of all. Seems like voter suppression and jerry-mandering of the voting districts happens only when the cry-baby Rethugs are trying to get back into office.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years ago

Or the black panthers stand outside polling places.

Cait McKnelly 5 years ago

Wow! Was voter intimidation ever proven? Or does the mere presence of a black man count? No one can see how you vote. You're just like KK; making up a specter that doesn't exist.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

Not a problem to me.Black Panthers, KKK, SLA,they can all line up outside. That doesn't frighten me.

headdoctor 5 years ago

I understand that the Kansas law can be enforced for Kansas elections. I am wondering how Kansas election laws can govern the election of Federal offices where as of yet there is no ID requirement. If they are going to run this ID thing down our throat I am thinking that Kansas needs to pony up for the cost of running separate ballots. One for the State and one for the Federal. One you show ID and one you don't. If there is no Federal law requiring ID, why should I be forced to show one to vote in a Federal election.

tbaker 5 years ago

Proving you are eligible to vote is cutting back on voting rights? Really? Ever wonder why the first time the Kansas territory voted for statehood, the vote count was for the state to come into the union as a slave state? Noodle on that one a while and tell me verifying someone’s eligibility to vote shouldn’t be checked. Try voting from an overseas location and see how you feel about that verification process. I’m glad the government checks. What kind of election would it be if they didn’t?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Given that there is NO evidence of voter fraud in Kansas for several decades running, the only rationale for these laws is to make voting absolutely ironclad safe from any possibility that might be imaginable (since imagination is all the Kobach bases the new laws on.) So I'd say these new laws don't accomplish what they intend.

What we need are tattooed ID #'s on everyone's foreheads, microchip implants, and the death penalty (carried out summarily) for all voter fraud. That would truly ensure that voter fraud can never happen, nicht wahr? After all, when it comes to voting, the zero voter fraud as we've had over the last few decades just isn't good enough.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

Uh...have you never heard of "provisional ballots"???

We already have a system in place. And it's been repeatedly demonstrated to work very, very well in Kansas.

Equally important, Kris Kobach has NOT been able to demonstrate that there's any problem that requires spending tons of money on "correcting".

This is a man who can't even manage his own people well enough so that they accurately correctly report campaign funding. And we should trust him about something as important as elections...why???

roadwarrior 5 years ago

Stop whining, set a goal, and learn to interact with the people that we americans pay to spend their lives helping whiney people get their photo ID's. Victims of their own inaction hold no appeal for me to defend.

Mike Ford 5 years ago

both ways....cheating on votes and using hold the tradition well... you sure you weren't the poll tax guy in Alabama in a previous life....

Mike Ford 5 years ago

both ways....cheating on votes and using hold the tradition well... you sure you weren't the poll tax guy in Alabama in a previous life....

Fossick 5 years ago

I'm not a Republican, nor do I subscribe to the 'widespread voter fraud' theory. Yet I cannot imagine why some people have such a visceral opposition to asking people to prove they are the person with the right when they exercise it. If everyone had the right to vote, it would not be an issue, but everyone does not possess that right.

The article states that, "This is the most significant cutback in voting rights in decades." It is nothing of the sort. Not a single person with the right to vote has that right revoked. All they are being asked is to demonstrate they have that right when they exercise it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Reasonable enough, except for this-- the system previously in place was 99.99999% effective, and it's being replaced by a system that is guaranteed to reduce the number eligible voters who actually cast their votes at a not inconsiderable expense to both state and local governments and taxpayers.

If we are going to even have a pretense of a democracy (yes, I know, it's also a republic,) that's a lose-lose proposition. It would seem that fixing what ain't broken is bad policy (and precedent) no matter what your political perspective is.

Fossick 5 years ago

"it's being replaced by a system that is guaranteed to reduce the number eligible voters who actually cast their votes"

And? I guess I fail to see how more people choosing not to vote is a lose-lose. If doing what hundreds of millions of your fellow citizens are willing to do as a matter of course is too much work for some, then I suppose you might call me unsympathetic. Or at least less sympathetic to them than to the felon who, once he walks out of prison, ought to be allowed to register and vote so long as he gets an ID.

Obviously there is some value to not fixing what isn't broken, but there is always value in improving what works reasonably well. Whether this is an improvement is perhaps dependent upon whether one thinks the vote is a sum of the wisdom of those who choose to participate or merely an average.

jafs 5 years ago

Will people be able to get their birth certificates and/or photo id's without having to pay for them?

If not, this comes dangerously close to a "poll tax" and may be found unconstitutional.

Fossick 5 years ago

"may be found unconstitutional."

I would be very surprised. If the money to get an ID is a poll tax, then so is the bus fare needed to get to the polls or a stamp needed to send in an advance ballot or an umbrella to stay out of the rain on election day.

It is hard to argue that any cost remotely associated with voting is a tax. But if it the court finds that, then there appears to be nothing to worry about: it's free umbrellas all around and I could use a new one.

jafs 5 years ago

We'll see.

The cost of a stamp or bus fare is noticeably smaller than the cost of obtaining a birth certificate.

Fossick 5 years ago

"The cost of a stamp or bus fare is noticeably smaller than the cost of obtaining a birth certificate."

But that's exactly the point. The Constitution doesn't forbid poll taxes under a certain amount, but poll taxes altogether. If the size of the cost is the issue, could not the state make an unconstitutional birth certificate law constitutional merely by making the cost of a birth certificate contingent on the price of a bus ride? I doubt that would make the issue go away in the minds of those who oppose the law.

jafs 5 years ago

I think you're right there, about poll taxes.

The problem is how large the obstacle is for people who want to vote, but have a hard time obtaining the necessary documentation, for whatever reason.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago


The US has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the world. I fail to see how putting up pointless bureaucratic hurdles whose only verifiable result will be to reduce the number of eligible voters casting votes is a good thing. (Unless you're Republican and want to make sure that those now not casting votes tend not to vote for them.)

"I guess I fail to see how more people choosing not to vote is a lose-lose."

So anything goes as long as you can pretend that all "choices" are the same for all people.

"Obviously there is some value to not fixing what isn't broken, but there is always value in improving what works reasonably well. "

What's to improve? The former system resulted in NO voter fraud, so all the new system can produce is a reduction in participation by eligible voters. I fail to see any silver lining.

Fossick 5 years ago

"What's to improve?"

Well, you just complained we have one of the lowest voter turnouts in the world, so obviously you think there's at least one thing that might be improved*. Surely there are others if you think about it.

But the fact that it takes almost no effort to vote and yet a majority do not do so, at least when one figures in off-year elections, makes it very hard for me to take seriously the squeals that the GOP is somehow going to steal elections here. They may think they are - I agree with both sides that people who are unwilling to make the minimal efforts this law requires are more likely to vote Democrat. Yet with 50% of the eligible electorate up for grabs, even ignoring the miniscule percentage of voters that could not get an ID with an hour's effort, I tend to doubt it will make a measurable difference. Especially here in Kansas where the GOP has already won just about every office worth holding.

  • I suspect that relative voter apathy is evidence that a) people are satisfied, or b) people are convinced voting won't change anything.

Fossick 5 years ago

Would you support a system that does away with voter registration altogether?

Mkultra 5 years ago

They better give away birth certificates and ID's/DL's or this will be ruled a back door poll tax and unconstitutional if the possession of both is mandatory to vote.

verity 5 years ago

I ordered my "Certificate of Live Birth" online 15 July 2010. The website is:

Since I was born in Kansas, it was quite simple and I received the copy by mail in a few days. I did not have to have proof of anything. However, I had to have access to a computer, have a credit card and it cost $26.00. I think you can order one by mail or go to Topeka---not sure of the logistics involved in that.

The reason I find the current law so distasteful is that it is so blatantly a partisan effort to keep non-Republicans from voting. The fiasco in Florida in 2000 was brought to us by Republicans. The fiasco in Ohio in 2004 was brought to us by Republicans.

Our current law in Kansas is brought to us courtesy of a Republican who cites massive voter fraud, but has absolutely no proof of it. In fact, all evidence says it is not a problem. Karl Rove made no secret of the fact that he wanted to create a "permanent Republican majority."

Why are the Republicans so afraid that they can't win on their own merits?

camper 5 years ago

Does a "certificate of live birth" qualify as a "birth certificate"? They are two different documents.

I'm getting a headache now rembering the good ole birther movement. Man those were the days. The biggest problem on everyones mind was the big birth certificate debate. The economy, debt ceiling crisis, just around the corner, and these folks were worked up about birth certificates. It was the days of milk and honey and everyone livin off the fat of the lan

FlintlockRifle 5 years ago

For those who don't drive can't you get a photo ID at the KANSAS DRIVER LICENSE DEPT?, I know you are saying if they don't drive how they going to get there,well how about same way you get to the polling booth.

Mkultra 5 years ago

They can but they are not free and if you do not have a birth certificate those also cost money. Back door poll tax it would appear.

Fossick 5 years ago

Is the stamp you must affix to the absentee ballot a poll tax?

tolawdjk 5 years ago

However, an absentee ballot isn't the only way to vote, just a convience for those without access to the polls on polling day. If it was the only way, then yes, I would say it would be a poll tax. Since there are other avenues to cast your ballot, I would say the stamp is -not- a poll tax.

roadwarrior 5 years ago

Mkultra, your parent was issued a birth certificate at your birth along with your social security number and we americans pay for storage of that documentation in the state you were born as well as civil servants to assist you in it's retrieval if it's been lost. I'm not paying for your lost documentation.

verity 5 years ago

"Certificate of Live Birth" vs "BIrth Certificate"

For those saying they aren't the same thing, as far as I can tell, they are. I ordered a "Birth Certificate," but the copy I received said "Certificate of Live Birth." I've done a little research and see nowhere that it says they are different things. If someone finds differently, please give a citation.

camper 5 years ago

They should be serve as the same, but a "Certificate of Live Birth" is an electonic version of a birth certificate. This means that you will not see the original signature or perforation. It is generated from a database. This was a can of worms for the birthers as they were unwilling to accept President Obama's "Cerificate of Live Birth", as being authentic.

It is good enough for me, but apparently not for some.

verity 5 years ago

Mine is titled "Standard Certificate of Live Birth" and is a photocopy/print of what was issued the day I was born over sixty years ago. It is not something printed from an electronic database, but filled in by hand. Some of the writing, such as my parent's names and my name, is in my mother's handwriting. The signatures of the attending and the registrar are there, both obviously different handwriting. Other parts appear to be filled in by another person.

verity 5 years ago

p> says: "they have the same meaning and use, it's just birth certificate is the most popular term...."

You can take that for what you think it's worth.

verity 5 years ago

I think the controversy came up compliments of the birthers---along the the short and long form birth certificate controversy. A lot of misinformation thrown around which then became accepted fact.

beatrice 5 years ago

Taking away rights, one voter at a time.

Countries where most people don't have ids seem capable of holding elections, so why not America? I know, I know, do as we say, not as we do.

Now, show me your papers.

pittstatebb 5 years ago

Fossick -

The current system does not require a single penny to vote. No stamp is needed, no bus ride, no gas, etc. These things simply make voting easier, but they are not required to vote. A required state issued ID is a cost that MUST be paid by every voter. Therefore a poll tax. Now if the state agrees to provide a voter ID to EVERY legal citizen of the state, I am all for this law. Until then, this should be declared unconstitutional.

Alternatively, if the state required every citizen to already have a state issued ID, then this law would not constitute a poll tax. However, this is not the case. You do not have to have an ID, even though it does make your life easier.

At the core, this is not a Democratic vs Republican, white vs black, legal vs illegal American issue. This is a constitutionality issue.

Fossick 5 years ago

"This is a constitutionality issue."

As I noted, that's what we shall find out. I suspect that you will be surprised when no court of law rules that way, however. To argue that a state-issued ID is a poll tax would demand that every conceivable cost associated with voting is a poll tax. I doubt any court is going to take up that challenge.

As of now, the state has the ability to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the people who show up to vote are legally authorized to vote. It requires registration, which itself might accrue some cost to the voter (they may have to travel, skip work, etc.). It requires that people prove that they live within the district in which they want to register. It can even attempt to locate voters who no longer are eligible and purge voter rolls. The requirement that a person prove who they are is in the same vein. That anyone finds this requirement onerous frankly astounds me.

pittstatebb 5 years ago

There are currently NO required costs to vote. None. Anywhere.

I am all for valid, fair elections. I am not against ensuring no unathorized voters are voting. To me, this is a issue of how can I prove my legal residence without paying any money to do so. There must be a way for this to happen. That anyone cannot finds this viewpoint onerous frankly astounds me.

Also, a court of law WILL rule this unconstitutional. Will that ruling be overturned, yes. Will it end up in the SCOTUS, maybe not the KS law, but one most probably will.

Fossick 5 years ago

"That anyone cannot finds this viewpoint onerous frankly astounds me."

I don't find it onerous at all. Then again, I'm not the one who has to carry it around.

"but one most probably will. "

One already did:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter-identification law on Monday, declaring that a requirement to produce photo identification is not unconstitutional and that the state has a “valid interest” in improving election procedures as well as deterring fraud.

Under the standard set by Harper: ""...restrictions on the right to vote are invidious if they are unrelated to voter qualifications. However, “even handed restrictions” protecting the “integrity and reliability of the electoral process itself” satisfy Harper’s standard. Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U. S. 780, 788, n. 9. A state law’s burden on a political party, an individual voter, or a discrete class of voters must be justified by relevant and legitimate state interests “sufficiently weighty to justify the limitation.” Norman v. Reed, 502 U. S. 279,"

Therefore if a state can show that its restrictions are related 'to the election process itself,' they are not invidious and are therefore constitutional. Poll taxes are obviously unrelated to the right to vote, and are therefore unconstitutional.

One difference you will surely note is that Indiana provides a free ID, where as Kansas does not, as that seems to be your main concern. Whether the that fact will convince two justices who have already decided that IDs are legitimate to change their views to your remains to be seen.

Frankly, I find ballot access laws to be a more onerous restriction, esp. being a third party kind of guy. But then again, I'm under no illusion that "unconstitutional" is a euphemism for "bad idea."

jafs 5 years ago

That's interesting.

Any data about voter ID requirements in states that don't provide a free one?

roadwarrior 5 years ago

every citizen IS required to have an ID !!! It's called a birth certificate used to issue your social security number. holy cow ! DUH.

ivalueamerica 5 years ago

There is absolutely no reason to disfranchise legitimate voters in efforts to combat a problem that hardly exists. The the problems this creates comes no where close to balancing the problems it pretends to solve.

Steve Stucky 5 years ago

First time voters - birth certificate After that - photo id Oh my. This is so hard.

jayhawxrok 5 years ago

That's the whole idea, the GOP wants it to be hard for people to vote so citizens don't exercise their rights. It's retarded. It should be easy to register and vote, it's critical to our democracy. For those of you who scoff at it being harder, for some, it sure is. My grandmother passed on at 90 and she had no picture ID after her last driver's license expired at age 76. She voted. religiously and it would have been an outrage for her to have been denied her right to do so.

bolshavik_vw 5 years ago

TRY 4,999,999 (Hopefully less than that. Once it is all said and done.) And anyway. Unless you try to take the rights of voting away from those of us who do not break the laws, or do not have a valid ID or DL Or are Minorities.. You are basically showing all of us, how stupid you are. And you know, You didn't mess up my abilty to vote. And guess what I would not vote for you at Gun Point.

Ken Hunt 5 years ago

Ugh....too many angry middle aged white men...voter fraud is a smoke screen to distract the electorate from the real issues that impact America. It reminds me of the Know-Nothing Party and its blame game of why the country was in decline in the 1850s. Time for the country to grow up and stop looking for someone else to blame. We keep messing up by electing these short sighted individuals.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Remember what they say in Chicago, vote early and often.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

That's been a common saying for decades. If you think that Chicago isn't the most corrupt political swamp in America, with the possible exception of New Orleans, you've not been paying attention.

jaywalker 5 years ago

Seriously, Fretster? Really shouldn't be difficult to research that one.

JohnBrown 5 years ago

This isn't "partisanship", it' s plain un-American.

John Pultz 5 years ago

I thought that conservatives wanted government out of our lives. Yet, by requiring photo ids to vote, the Kansas Republican Legislature has made government larger and more intrusive in our lives. It seems the Republicans are very selective in when they want, and do not want, big government and suggests that the cry against big government is meant merely to cover their wishes to get government out of only those things they dislike.

William Weissbeck 5 years ago

But there are significant numbers of voters who don't go to bars, no longer or never drive, own or live with others, are not in need of credit, and either don't bank or opened their accounts long ago and don't cash checks. Not to mention those who were born out of state and have moved to Kansas either as students or just got dragged along with their parents. The last time they had need for a birth certificate was likely when they were issued their first drivers license. Kansas doesn't require the birth certificate to issue you a new Kansas license - just surrender of the other state's license. Shouldn't the idea be to make voting as easy as possible for everyone, even at the risk of a few (very, very few) illegal votes? Wasn't Florida in 2000 a bad enough black eye as to what happens when the voter rolls are manipulated to exclude 50,000 eligible voters, compounded by out dated and inconsistent voting methods, further compounded by confusing ballot lay outs? Do we really want our elections settled in the courts?

beatrice 5 years ago

"You need ID to get into a bar, to drive, to rent a home, to get a loan, to write a check."

As others have pointed out before, these aren't rights. You don't need an ID to practice your right of free speech, do you? ... well, at least not yet, anyway.

Now, show me your papers. (Can't you see how un-American that is?)

It would be one thing if there was evidence of wide-spread voter fraud. There simply isn't any proof of this.

jaywalker 5 years ago

Population: 312 million Voter turnout in '08: 119 million Recalculated # of citizens effected: 1.9 million % of population effected: .006

Oh! The horror!

jafs 5 years ago

As it mentions, the number quoted is more than the margin of victory in 2 out of the last 3 elections.

So, it would be significant - it could change the outcome of 2 out of the last 3 elections.

jaywalker 5 years ago

The number quoted in the article is the gross. Going by voter turnout from the last election and then doing the math, I came up with the numbers above. Therefore, the numbers are not significant, particularly when we can reasonably expect a good portion of the "effected" voters to get off their arses and meet the criteria.

beatrice 5 years ago

Jay -- yes, that an unproven fear of voter fraud would effect 1.9 million American citizens attempting to practice their right(!) to vote is indeed a horror. We are effecting 1.9 million citizens in order to stop how many imagined unlawful voters? 10? 20? 100? Just because someone might not have a valid identification doesn't mean they aren't an American citizen and that they no longer have the right to vote. Must we also show our ID before we practice our right to free speech?

When else will we need to carry ID just to prove we are a citizen? Walking down the street? Meeting with a group of friends? Whenever stopped and asked for it? That is why some people are upset by this.

jaywalker 5 years ago

First of all, bea, this is nothing close to a "horror", please, some perspective. Second, voter fraud is not unproven. Last, you're right, a person who can't provide ID doesn't mean they aren't a citizen nor that they can't vote. They just have to procure an ID. It's a shame this seems to offend so many people, but in my opinion this is nothing more than common sense. You have to prove who you are to get a place to live, to volunteer at school, to make a purchase, to catch a fish. But somehow this "right" Personally, I'm kind of amazed we've gone this long without ensuring identity, particularly with the rampant fraud there used to be.

And not for nothing, the "ID for free speech" thing is not a salient point. Voting has been found to be a fundamental right, but it is not part of our constitutional rights.

beatrice 5 years ago

"... the rampant fraud there used to be." That is one of the points, which is, we no longer have a problem for voter fraud, yet we have this solution. Something that, by your estimation, effects 1.9 million people is, in my opinion, indeed a big deal. Imagine if just .006 of 1.9 million people were made sick by eating the wrong cantaloupe -- cantaloupes all over would be cleared from store shelves. However, 1.9 million voters effected, and to you it is no big deal. I'm just surprised by that response, that is all. By your own acknowledment, we no longer have rampant fraud, yet we are taking steps that will effect almost 2 million citizens. That seems an extreme response to me. After all, if somebody really wanted to vote illegally, couldn't they just get a fake ID?

jaywalker 5 years ago

Poor analogy. We're not talking illness or death here. We're talking about .006 of the population getting an ID, something that takes 1/2 and hour and a few bucks. No IQ test, no literacy test, no bloodletting. No, this is not a big deal.

beatrice 5 years ago

So, since it isn't a problem -- we need to fix it. Disenfranching any legal voters is a very poor solution to a problem that doesn't realy exist. Making it so some legal citizens won't be able to vote is a big deal in a democracy.

jaywalker 5 years ago

Poor analogy. We're not talking illness or death here. We're talking about .006 of the population getting an ID, something that takes 1/2 and hour and a few bucks. No IQ test, no literacy test, no bloodletting. No, this is not a big deal.

verity 5 years ago

I went in to renew my Kansas Driver's License today and had to wait for probably about 45 minutes, part of it standing, as only one person was on duty. The person ahead of me stomped out, saying that this was the second time she had been there and didn't have time to wait. Out of curiosity, I asked about getting an ID and mentioned I was asking because of the new voting registration law. The very friendly and helpful public employee told me that she is threatened every day by people who are upset because she can't give them what they want because they don't have the right certification. She said something about having taken a class in concealed weaponry, but I didn't follow up on that.

Has much/any thought been put into the implementation of this law and how much time/money it is going to require?

verity 5 years ago

I should add that the employee was not looking forward to what she expected to happen when this law is implemented.

jaywalker 5 years ago

Right. There'll be one more person per week coming in with the wrong paperwork. Nothing about her job will change.

verity 5 years ago

So you're calling her a liar?

And you know this office and this person and you are in that office all the time and know this?

And you can see the future and know what is going to happen?

jaywalker 5 years ago

What more do I need in order to respond to your histrionics? I never called anyone a liar nor do I need to know that particular DMV to understand that the proposed voter law won't impact that individual significantly in any way. She'll be performing the exact same function she does today. Your "story" was pointless, your response childish. Asking if you were going to be ok seemed prudent.

verity 5 years ago

"nor do I need to know that particular DMV to understand that the proposed voter law won't impact that individual significantly in any way."

There is absolutely no way you can know that.

jaywalker 5 years ago

Please. Her hours will be the same and she'll be performing the exact same duties. What are you thinking? That all 5 million are coming to her window? There are more than 25 DMV offices in Kansas alone, there are hundreds across the country, they're not all coming on the same day, what's so difficult to extrapolate?

ivalueamerica 5 years ago

Here it is, plain and simple, why the Right is disenfranchising voters.

"Registering them (the poor) to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country -- which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote."

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