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Archive for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kobach still seeks change in Kansas citizenship rule

April 18, 2012

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— Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Wednesday that he's optimistic he can persuade Kansas legislators to impose a proof-of-citizenship rule before this year's presidential election, even though critics described his tactics as underhanded.

A law enacted last year will require people registering to vote for the first time in the state to present a birth certificate or other proof of their U.S. citizenship to election officials. But the rule doesn't take effect until January, and Kobach wants to move its effective date up to June 15.

Kobach argues that the rule, which aims to keep illegal immigrants from registering to vote, should be in effect ahead of the normal surge of registrations before a presidential election. Critics contend such a requirement will suppress turnout, particularly among student, poor, minority and elderly voters.

The secretary of state's proposal passed the House, where his fellow conservative Republicans have a majority, but the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee wrapped up its business for the year last month without voting on it. The House Elections Committee revived the proposal before lawmakers started their annual spring break, and the House is expected to vote again on the issue after lawmakers reconvene next week.

"I expect a vote in both chambers," Kobach said. "I'm optimistic."

But Louis Goseland, coordinator of KanVote, a Wichita-based group opposed to Kobach's proposal, accused Kobach and his allies of "trying to do backroom deals" to save his proposal.

"This is really kind of an underhanded way of dealing with this," he said.

Fewer than 10 cases have been reported in Kansas over the past decade in which a non-citizen voted or attempted to vote, and critics of Kobach's proposal have said such numbers don't justify rushing into a proof-of-citizenship rule.

Last year, senators insisted on the Jan. 1, 2013, effective date, worrying that the state and potential voters wouldn't be ready for it before then. Sen. Kelly Kultala, a Kansas City Democrat serving on the Senate elections committee, said she doubts senators' positions have changed.

"He just never knows when to give up," she said of Kobach. "He's like a dog and a bone."

Kobach's office said it found 32 non-citizens registered to vote in Kansas last year, out of about 1.7 million registered voters. He said Wednesday the figure came only from the pool of non-citizens seeking driver's licenses, adding that the number of non-citizens registered is probably higher, though the state has no firm figures.

He said if the proof-of-citizenship rule is not in place in June, "We've missed an opportunity to keep our voter rolls clean."

The House committee revived the proposal by stripping an unrelated, Senate-passed elections bill of its contents and inserting Kobach's proposal. If the House passes the rewritten bill, senators could send it to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback simply by accepting the House's changes — bypassing their skeptical committee with a single up-or-down vote by the entire Senate.

Kobach and House Elections Committee Chairman Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican, dismissed criticism of the tactic, saying it only speeds up the legislative process should the Senate want to vote on Kobach's proposal. Such a maneuver has become so common over the past 20 years that legislators have nicknamed it the "gut and go."

"It was in a public meeting," Schwab said. "There was nothing underhanded about it."

Comments

Sharon Nottingham 2 years ago

Too bad the days of registering to vote on college campuses will be gone. I forsee a huge reduction of voters in near future. Sad.

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tange 2 years ago

How fortunate, we Kansans, to be blessed with a public official not only able to detect a problem with a magnitude of the negative fifth order but then willing to go the distance to effect sweeping changes to remedy the situation.

Good citizen that I am, I submitted my Federal and State tax returns earlier this week, faithfully rendering my calculations to the sixth decimal place, confident that, one day, all those fractions will add up to the lucky penny which will tip my entry upward to the next full dollar, thus transforming the State economy.

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Fossick 2 years ago

Cait48: "If you truly believe in democracy... then you would be for free and open elections with as many eligible voters voting as possible and as few barriers placed to that exercise as possible. "

That's as logical as saying that if you truly believe in parenting, then you should support as many people as possible having as many babies as possible. If one can support parenting while holding that it would be better if some people did not have kids, then it is possible to be a democrat (small d) while holding that it would be better for the majority if some people did not vote.

As Chesterton said, self-government is like tying your own tie and writing your own love notes: a thing that people ought to do themselves even if they do it poorly. It does not follow that your tie will look any better if everyone gives an opinion on how it ought to be tied.

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mikekt 2 years ago

The trouble with Kris Kobach is that he was born too late, to have worked for either Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini or Uncle Joseph Stalin. However, he did find the Re-Publican Party & Sam ( the "preyerful oppressor" of the poor ) Brownback, to hang with. Also, it's too bad that he never got a chance to meet Vlad Dracula, the Patron Saint of the Re-Publican party-ers, who are sucking the middle class & the poor out of existance.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years ago

Kobach reminds me of the pigs in the Orwell book, "Animal Farm." Something like, "All animals are created equal...some animals are more equal than others."

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

Ya do not have the "wherewithall" to get a pic ID, you shouldn't be voting. "Critics" need teach these people in their government schools how get this "wherewithall".

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kansanjayhawk 2 years ago

The bottom line is this: no one who is not a citizen of the United States and a legal resident of Kansas should be allowed to vote in our elections. If you do not agree with that then you do not support the rule of law in this nation--and that is all that Kobach is trying to reinforce--showing and ID will help this process.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

I find it to be quite humorous that the leftist on this forum kick and stomp and scream about voter ID laws but don't seem to care about 4000 new IRS agents breathing down our necks. That DRD4 gene is oooone crazy gene I'm tellin' ya'! Why would it occur to me? I don't know why, because anything coming out of The Anointed One's white house is perfectly OK with the left. Even droning Yemen into smithereens. Even the lefties that cry and moan about the GOP's so-called monopoly on corporate money and Mitt Romney's wealth and bla bla bla and they don't care about or seem to care (or even know about) this:

"George Soros‘ Democracy Alliance, an invitation-only club for billionaire leftist political donors, has decided to drown Democrats and President Obama’s re-election campaign in an ocean of cash this year. Democracy Alliance, founded in 2005, is a financial clearinghouse that recommends to its wealthy members projects and groups aimed at transforming America into a European-style socialist state. The secretive group has directed untold hundreds of millions of dollars to left-of-center causes.

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Soros, he is the pre-eminent funder of the left in the United States. He openly favors American decline and has said European-style socialism “is exactly what we need now.” The radical, anti-American philanthropist praises China effusively, saying the totalitarian nation has “a better-functioning government than the United States.” Mr. Soros already has begun doling out funds for Democrats. In the 2012 cycle, he has given a modest $203,500, but that number promises to rise exponentially."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/5/left-vs-left/

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Roland Gunslinger 2 years ago

If we were serious about stopping voter fraud we'd focus our efforts on trackable ballots and scrapping the electronic voting machines.

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William Weissbeck 2 years ago

There is a much simpler solution. There appears on this blog to be more than enough of the "Ted Nugent Yahoo types" to spread out across Kansas in each of the 105 counties to intimidate the 32 non-citizen voters. Is Kobach so sure they all voted or all voted Democrat? Seems to me the math clearly works against his "sincerity." A law that potentially hinders thousands of otherwise legal voters is hardly a rational basis to weed out a 100 or fewer illegal voters. It's not like the "illegal" out in Dodge City or Great Bend is going to risk his job and maybe his family just so he can vote for Obama or whatever token Democrat is running in the newly gerrymandered, Republican only election districts across the state.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years ago

I'm waiting with bated breath for the day that Kobach decides to pay just as much attention to the security of vote counting as he does to the actual process of voting. I'm sure I'll suffocate before he does.

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Fossick 2 years ago

cait48: "Your superciliousness and oily faux "concern" make me want to go shower. "

Then go shower. I never said I was concerned, in quotes or not. I said I treat people equally.

There was a time in this country when a white person taking a voting test would always pass, while a black person's test consisted of "Guess how many beans are in that jar." Amazingly, the number was never what the person guessed.

That's discrimination, and it's with that I am concerned. Rules that treat everyone the same are not something that bothers me in the least, even if they take a little effort to follow.

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its_just_math 2 years ago

Why is the left, primarily the extremist left, so afraid of one having to prove he/she is legally allowed to vote? Why does the extremist left hate America?

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

complex....are you making fun of smart......let me talk slow to you in a language you will surely understand.....

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texburgh 2 years ago

Mr. Kobach,

Let's start with some of your friends. I want to see proof that Sen. Ray Merrick, Rep. Mike Kiegerl, and Rep. Mario Goico are citizens. Have they ever shown the actual documents proving they became citizens of the United States? And I don't mean copies - not even certified copies - I want to see the originals. And not only that but I think we should be able to question the person who allegedly administered the oath to those three. They weren't born in this country by their own admission. So let's see the proof or let's see them out of office.

And as for Kobach...That name is not American enough for me. And what American would spell Chris with a K? He's probably not a citizen. I want his papers as well. And I want the long form, not some phony certified copy of the short form. In fact, I want him to provide every voter with those documents and I want them NOW. Otherwise take your unAmerican backside and go back where you came from, Mr. Kobach. Or is it Herr Kobach?

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

Reading "tuschakahouma" complex conversations.... I retract my 18-20:26 statement, "Critics" pigeonholing is not "nice".

I can now see "Critics" concerns and reasons for pigeonholing. "Critics" stereotypes may be necessary to augment their arguments and discontent for "life" in general, but, the "pigeonholed" do need guidance.

Maybe buses like the "M-T" could ferry the "pigeonholed" to voting stations. Keep them organized and together so they don't get lost. "Wandering off" is an issue.

Photo ID's could be pinned to their outer garments.

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Michael LoBurgio 2 years ago

2000-2007: UFO sightings (32,229), Deaths by lightning (352), Possible cases of voter impersonation (9)

http://craigconnects.org/voter-protection-infographic

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Orwell 2 years ago

"He said if the proof-of-citizenship rule is not in place in June, 'We've missed an opportunity to keep our voter rolls white.'"

Fixed it for you.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

out of the county???? in a snap???? no facts ( from a source)...... rockchalk....good you know how gop costituents talk with the movie reference......it's funny how rural white people defraud medicaid and social security......where's your outrage there??? I read about welfare and medicaid fraud all the time and how the Obama administration has put money into enforcement and caught millions of dollars in offenses but the volume of conservative ignorance and denial attempts to drown it out. you sure love scapegoating the people who do much of the work lazy americans won't. alabama is regretting it's laws with fields going uppicked because jethro and bobby sue are lazy and won't do work they consider below them. what a wonderful mess the gop is attempting to create.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years ago

This carp is the same philosophy as TRAP laws for abortion clinics; bury it in red tape to the point where people give up. Then you can claim you didn't outlaw anything. No, you just made it riddled with pitfalls and so much like spaghetti you need a personal assistant just to get it all together. And guess who are the only people that have "personal assistants"?

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

Critics contend such a requirement will suppress turnout, particularly among student, poor, minority and elderly voters.

Why do the "Critics", think so "little" of these wide range of people stereotypes, that they can't prove who they are? What are the "reasons" for treating people this way "Critics"? Pidgeonholing people is not nice.

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

Let's start taxing money sent out of the county at 50% unless the sender can prove they are in America legally. That would start a stampede toward the Rio Grande. ( ... from ... a ... source ...)

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ShePrecedes 2 years ago

Let The People come! Let The People Vote. Accept all anchor babies!

give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send me the homeless, the tempest-tost. I lift my lamp beside the golden door. (From memory, memorized along with the pledge of alleg.)

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ShePrecedes 2 years ago

Remember the Kansas GOP Purity Tests????!!!!

Remember the Kansas GOP Purity tests!

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ShePrecedes 2 years ago

OH No, more KOBACH PURITY TESTS!!

Born and reared here, never once moved out of the state, while all other siblings have.

But since the Religious Rite is my sworn enemy, I am sure Kobach will find a way for me NOT to pass the Kansas Citizen Purity Test.

Kobach is like Neo-Nazi, seems like these days, IMHO. He is just like the power-mongers in Germany way back when. Just like them!! The Patriot ACT is included in the Nazi-like behavior. Hell, if Kobach has his way, we may well indeed be speaking German soon.

BTW, NEVER ever trust someone who is charismatic, like Kobach. Chances are they have a drinking problem.

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Mike Ford 2 years ago

our clowns trot out birther comments and new black panthers......is all that all you've got.......to quote the hillbilly in that old movie...."The dog won't hunt". and if I'm not mistaken the citizenship part of said bill when it came to law enforcement was struck down by a federal judge in court this week. most of the vote situations come about with the deceased still on voting rolls. nice to see herr kobach becoming the enforcer of juan crow laws in kansas.

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deathpenaltyliberal 2 years ago

"rockchalk1977 (anonymous) says… Let's just have the New Black Panthers stand in front of our neighborhood polling places to scare off the illegals...."

Still obsessed with the New Black Panthers? Never in recorded history has the sight of two black guys caused more scared old white guys to piddle themselves. Pathetic.

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Liberty275 2 years ago

I'm OK with a law requiring proof of citizenship but with two additions. First, you should be able to prove your citizenship by affidavit, and second, any falsification of such affidavit should be a felony with a minimum prison sentence of two years. We can trust juries to decide which were mistakes and which were done intentionally.

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dabbindan 2 years ago

i'd say he's more like a dog with a pile of horse manure.

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Shelley Bock 2 years ago

Kobach has made a name for himself. Here's a couple of articles from the Guardian newspaper in the UK.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/17/mitt-romney-campaign-immigration-adviser?INTCMP=SRCH

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/24/kris-kobach-immigration-law-mastermind?INTCMP=SRCH

Hopefully those will work. If not, go to www.guardian.co.uk and search for Kobach.

Kobach is getting an international reputation. I don't know if these articles were in the printed Guardian or just appeared in the website.

Point is that Kobach needs Kansas to follow his plan if he's to retain the "dark lord of the anti-illegal immigration movement" status. If he can't convince the locals of his plans, how can he sell his 'snake oil' to other States.

Going after illegal voters is worse than trying to find the needle in a haystack. No sane illegal will walk into a courthouse to sign an affidavit giving his / her name, address and identifying information to the government. Only thing that would draw more attention to their situation would be to put up a neon sign in their window stating that "Illegals live here".

I have met many legal and illegal residents in Lawrence. Those who were legal were proud to vote WHEN they had obtained citizenship. On the other hand, illegals had no interest whatsoever in voting or participating in the political process. They simply didn't have the desire or the time. The only time they'd show up at a voting location would be if they were part of the cleaning crew or making a delivery.

Kobach's whole effort is a sham to reduce voting numbers.

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tolawdjk 2 years ago

How will it keep the voter rolls clean?

What about the thousands of illegals all ready registered? You can't tell me the Illuminati hasn't been infiltrating the voter polls since 2010. So what if we have a hard and fast date before November, the knife is already there and at our throats.

No, the safer thing is to wipe the entire slate clean, magnetize teh hard drive and start over from scratch. Force -everyone- to re-register a week before the election with new,freshly printed ID cards containing proving documents imbedded in thier microchips. Biannual voter poll purgings will assure that the rolls stay clean between election cycles. Short of active duty military, absentee ballots will be a thing of the past. If it is important enough to vote, it is important enough to vote in person to prove you are who you say you are.

Its time to clean it up, Kansas.

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Joe Hyde 2 years ago

If Secretary of State Kobach and the Kansas Legislature hurry there's still time before the next election to pass a bill making it a Class A Misdemeanor for anyone to put an "X" in the little box next to any Democratic Party candidate's name.

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Bob Forer 2 years ago

"Kobach argues that the rule, which aims to keep illegal immigrants from registering to vote...."

What an absurd rationale. Illegal immigrants are here for one reason--to be able to work and survive. They could care less about whom the voters of Kansas elect to state and national offices. More importantly, they avoid all unnecessary contact with government employees and officials for fear of having their illegal status discovered and being deported. Can someone please explain to me why an illegal immigrant would risk being discovered and deported simply to vote. Hell, over half of the registered voters don't even exercise their right to vote. Why makes an illegal so anxious to cast a vote when the majority of Americans realize that it is an exercise in futility.

The stated rationale, or rather, the excuse for the law is merely a subterfuge to hide the real motive: to suppress people who might have a difficult time complying with the new law, as those folks generally vote democratic.

It's not a coincidence that every legislator or public official who has sponsored similar legislation throughout the country belongs to the republican party.

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Paul R Getto 2 years ago

Snap: In one sense, I can't argue with you. The line of buses, assuming one could pay for them and get people to step up for this ride would stretch from the Mexican border to Canada. You have some ideas on how to pay for this project? And, if it succeeds, are you ready for the consequences? Just curious.

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

If you are in America illegally, you have the right to a baloney sammich for your bus ride to the border, unless, of course, you are related to the current resident of 1600 Penn Ave.

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2 years ago

Watched "V" the other night. I see more and more of it in Kansas. The Guv is Sutler and Kobach is Creedy.

Where is a reference for the bill? Someone post that, please.

As a note, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals nixed Arizona's law.

"The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that an Arizona proposition requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote was in conflict with the National Voter Registration Act but upheld a portion of the constitutional amendment which requires a form of photo identification at the polls." (http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/9th-circuit-nixes-arizonas-proof-of-citizenship-requirement)

So far Kobach has cost other states a lot of money. Now he wants to defend his law and spend the $500 bil surplus Kansas has.

@rc1977. Say something new and germane, and quit bringing out old attempts at fear mongering.

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Paul R Getto 2 years ago

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz............Give it up KK. You ran for the glorified clerk's position, SoS. Get back to your office and count the incorporation forms on your desk.

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rockchalk1977 2 years ago

Let's just have the New Black Panthers stand in front of our neighborhood polling places to scare off the illegals.

We already know Attorney General Eric Holder will reject claims of voter intimidation. Keep hope alive!

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autie 2 years ago

Need a birth certificate to register to vote? You need a picture ID. You need a picture ID? You need a birth certificate. Don't have a picture ID? All you need are a Social Security card and pay stub. Oh, you don't have a job or an automobile registration with a current address, I guess you are out of luck in this round robin cluster. Facism is marching down the middle of Main Street and a lot of you folks are not even paying attention....too worried about all that illegal voting. Lets see...32 out of 1.7 million....I think they should outlaw dust bunnies and fund dust bunny police to sneak in your house when your gone and find dust bunnies and then put your name on the dust bunny list.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years ago

Given that "gut and go" bills, signing legislation in the middle of the night without announcement and illegally passing legislation without a quorum are all legislative practices being practiced in state houses across America; what makes one think that today's legislators aren't underhanded and unethical? The entire lot of them need to be thrown out and many of them need to be criminally charged.

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David Albertson 2 years ago

I thought Republicans wanted to keep the big bad government out of their lives? But, I guess that doesn't apply to voting, abortion, what substances you choose to put in your body, the gender of who you marry, where muslims can worship, what language you speak, to push their religious beliefs in to science class, etc, etc, etc. For the party that wants to minimize the influence of government, they sure like to use it to push their agenda. What's next Mr. Kobach? A polling tax? How about "colored" polling places?

What the GOP doesn't realize is that these type of laws are seen to be aimed at latino immigrants (remember Arizona?). That's going to cost them BIG in November.

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OonlyBonly 2 years ago

And I, for one, hope he succeeds. You have to prove "citizenship" for everything else but not voting! Blatantly absurd.

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