Archive for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kobach still seeks change in Kansas citizenship rule

April 18, 2012


— 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."


John Hamm 5 years, 1 month ago

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

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes. Just the other day, I had to prove citizenship to buy pancakes.

David Albertson 5 years, 1 month 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.

Mike1949 5 years, 1 month ago

bartstop, they have been lying for so many years that they don't even know they are lying any more, they have convinced themselves that it is fact. To get a Kansas Republican to change their racist predigest attitudes, . . . . . . well I don't think you can, you would have to kill them, they are that corrupted. They don't care if the republicans are running our country into the ground, they just don't care because they are the religious right and their way is the only way (so they can control you and your family)!

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

This is not "aimed" at latinos! This is about keeping only citizens as voters and not allowing those who are not citizens to vote in our elections. This is about the right of the State of Kansas to define the electorate for the election as being only those who are truly Kansans. Polls show that over 70 % of the people support this type of an approach and the people liberal and conservative understand the need voter voter ID.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, it's not aimed at Latinos. It's aimed at poor, elderly, disabled, very young and ALL minority voters. In other words, the largest demographics likely to not vote Republican. it's power grab, pure and simple. Try opening up your world view beyond the vaginas of other women. As for your "polls", try turning the channel to something other than Fox "News".

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month 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.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh and don't even get me started on how they title bills with titles that have nothing to do with the content of the legislation.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

Those misleading titles really get me too. Like "Affordable Care". Yea, right, affordable. Ha.

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

You're right. Single payer would have been more affordable.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

hummm--examples here in Kansas? if the elected majority follows all of the procedures then do you support the voter ID law?

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

Incredible that anyone ever manages to get a driver's license at all, no?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, yes it is. I had to get an official copy of my birth certificate (one with a raised seal) and an official copy of my marriage certificate (one with a raised seal), surrender my old driver's license, have mail in my own name at my current address that was a utility bill or a bank statement or a paycheck stub (or other mail from a government entity, such as a school) and a copy of my rental lease or mortgage contract. Ya think that's enough hoops?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes it did. But you tell me how many of the disenfranchised groups would have success in obtaining all of those documents. This is worse than a poll tax. And I hope to god the feds strike it down.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

I believe that "disenfranchised groups" are just as smart as you, just as clever as you, and smell just as good as you. Therefore, I do not believe them too dumb to follow the rules everyone else does. If you can get a license, so can every poor or black or elderly person.

Tell me again why they are too stupid to follow the rules?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

You are insulting to both me and the groups described. Your superciliousness and oily faux "concern" make me want to go shower. I ended up paying over 60$ for the documentation I needed. There are people for whom that 60$ would mean the difference between voting and taking their meds. Which do you think they will choose? That's not "stupidity". There are elderly people who were born at home that don't even have birth certificates. My own father was one of them. Are they "non-citizens"? That's not "stupidity. There are people that have no address. Are they not citizens? That's not "stupidity". Take your insulting BS and hike it on down the road.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

You don't really buy into the whole "equality" thing, do you?

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

Not particularly. I am neither as tall as Michael Jordan, as smart as Walter Williams, nor as funny as Will Smith. However, as my God* does not give a d-ampersand about those things, neither do I. I treat all people the same, and I hold them all to the same standards because I believe we are created by the same God and in need of the same salvation. Your mileage may vary.

  • I know it's a faith you do not share, so bear with me

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"I believe that "disenfranchised groups" are just as smart as you, just as clever as you, and smell just as good as you."

This has nothing to do with any of those characteristics.

Participation in the political process in this country is exceptionally weak. That's because it's controlled by money, and those with money are quite happy that the vast majority of those without money feel that there is nothing to be gained by participating.

It's a vicious cycle, and one that this law is designed to perpetuate. It has nothing to do with "security of the election process," unless by that it means that control of the political process remains with the oligarchs-- the folks you apparently side with.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

"This has nothing to do with any of those characteristics."

It has everything to do with them. There is a certain segment of the commenting population who does not believe that blacks and the elderly are capable of jumping the very low hurdle of proving who they are. And they do not believe this because they hold a noble savage opinion of blacks.

I have black people living in my house. I know they are just as capable as anyone else. Therefore the, "oh, you can't expect X to get a DL" rings to me as nothing but paternalistic BS, reminiscent of the South Carolina slaveholder of the 1840s. Pity those poor people, but keep them on the plantation.

People who do not get a DL are generally people who cannot be bothered to do so. And that's fine. I let them live with their choices. But I have no intention of living with those choices myself.

question4u 5 years, 1 month ago

Wouldn't the average white Kansan be a lot more effective at scaring off illegal immigrants – and African Americans, Asians, Mexican Americans, gays, educated people of all races, atheists, agnostics, women who value equal rights, moderate Republicans and anyone who doesn't toe the extremist line...? Tolerance died in Kansas a long time ago. How else could Kobach send himself into hysterics about a non-existent problem without the people of Kansas questioning his fitness for public office?

Tim Quest 5 years, 1 month ago

At least you admit you're for more government regulation and red tape. Good to know.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

You certainly make those groups you name sound like sheep if they can be driven off so the fact is that no one is being driven away all are welcome at the long as they are legal residents of Kansas and of the United States of America. If you are not a citizen of this country then you have absolutely no right to vote in our elections!

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month 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.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, that piile of incorporation forms that has created so many jobs in Kansas...

What? Wait....................

Oh, yeah, that hasn't happened.

Sorry. Proceed.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month 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.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month 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.

SDTPlant 5 years, 1 month ago

We'll just create another govt program funded by an additional tax on fishing licenses to apprehend the "illegals" , incidentally defined by the indigenous peoples in this country as everyone except themselves, put them on the bus (driven by some Neal Cassadyesque character) and drive them to the borders. Of Germany, Ireland, Sweden, China, Viet Nam, and on and on. Fishing licenses will then cost 100k to the 10000th power, affordable by only the Koch Brothers.

Wait...........................Neal Cassady and Republicans? Pie in the sky? Yup! That's who you Republicants are. Pull your heads out and take a sniff of reality! Everything you advocate for smacks of more govt, not less. Really. You can't make this stuff up. Wait for the book. It'll be out soon.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month 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.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

Much of what you say makes sense. The problem is that people, being people, act in some very strange ways. And illegal immigrants are no different in that regard. If they behaved as you suggest, illegals would never get arrested because they would never commit crimes, not wanting their status revealed. But, of course, we know that's not true. They commit crimes just like every other demographic. If they behaved as you predict, they would never fraudulently receive services they are not entitled to, again, not wanting their status revealed. But, of course, we know that is also not true. And again, just like every other demographic, illegals fraudulently receive services they are not entitled to.
Now the question is, do these people also want a voice in the government that rules over them, just like every other demographic does? Do they want a voice in the schools their children attend, just like every other group? And would they be willing to take some chances of being discovered in order that their voice might be heard? We know it's happened already, in very small numbers. Can you guarantee that the numbers will remain small, or is that an educated guess?
If my vote is important, if my one vote is sacred, why are the small numbers of illegal votes unimportant, why are they so insignificant that we should just ignore them?

dabbindan 5 years, 1 month ago

 because the legislation will have a far greater negative impact in that there will be a considerable number  of citizens who will not vote because of the law. compare that to the one or none illegal(s) who will be appropriately prevented from voting.

the problem that doesn't exist will create a real problem for those who would like to vote.

in itself the above is reason not to have the law.

here's the real reason for the law: republicans as a whole are more buttoned down, go by the rules, be prepared types. democrats are more fly by the seat of the pants.

who will be impacted more by a law that requires you to have all your ducks in a row and bring your ducks with you to the polling place?

this is the best reason not to have the law.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure we want to run an election while flying by the seat of our pants. If someone shows up to vote an hour after the polling place closes, would we allow their right to vote? How about if they forgot to register to vote? We have firm rules for a reason and that reason is the integrity of the election. That's pretty important.
Now as to the issue of whether or not a law will prevent some people from voting, that's a legitimate concern. Of course, we have a variety of obstacles to voting, the question is are they reasonable. Registering is an obstacle. People in big cities might be able to vote within easy walking distance but rural folks might have to take a long ride. While providing an ID might be an obstacle, courts have ruled that they are reasonable.
I would be interested if people came forward now and said they were unable to get an ID and then contrast that with actual results, seeing what efforts they actually made to get an ID. Is it really that hard or is it nothing more than rhetoric?

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

Your crime analogy is logically and inherently flawed. People commit crime for a number of reasons:

1) Loss of emotional control in the heat of passion, e.g., crimes of physical aggression. Voting is a very deliberate, rational and calm act, quite the opposite of a crime of passion. .

2) Crimes committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I have never heard of anyone casting a ballot simply because they were drunk or stoned.

3) Crimes involving financial gain. The criminal believes that the possible financial gain outweighs the risk of getting caught and the possible penalties involved. .There is no financial reward in the act of voting.

4) Ignorance of the law. Voting is the polar opposite. It involves knowing your right to vote and consciously exercising that right. No ignorance involved here.

5) Necessity--addicts commit crimes for money to buy drugs; the hungry, unemployed, and impoverished sometimes steal because they have a real or perceived need for an object and no money to pay for that object. Someone with a suspended license drives because they have a real or perceived need to get someplace that overrides the known risk involved, or that persons feels that given the low severity of punishment, the consequences of getting caught are de minimis. Speeding is another good example. People who speed know that there is a risk in getting caught. However, the possible sanctions are insufficient to deter the conduct.

6) Mentally ill or mentally impaired people--mental illness or impairment does not cause people to go out and vote.

7) Anti-social people--they commit crime out of compulsion and selfishness with no feelings, understanding, or concern about the consequential harm to others. Voting is not the type of anti-social conduct that is associated with sociopaths.

Illegals are in this country for one reason, and one reason alone--for a better quality of life. To suggest that illegals will risk the chance of being deported simply to do an act--voting--which has no immediate and tangible reward and which is otherwise not motivated by a disturbed thought process, simply because illegals are known to commit other crimes, is simply absurd.

Finally, illegals have no culture of democracy. The only culture they know is one of impoverishment, and voting does not to enhance their standard of living. On the contrary, voting threatens their standing of living.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

I know my quality of life is enhanced by the simple fact that I can vote, whether or not I actually vote. You are very cavalier in dismissing this when it comes to illegal immigrants. I think it is a mistake to do so. Let me give you an example. While attending K.U. a million years ago, I could not tell you where the elementary schools were nor did I care much. As I got older and had a child in elementary school, I made myself aware of issues involving schools, parks, after school programs, etc. As my child got older and eventually moved out, I became less aware and less concerned. I assume and hope that those with children became involved. I became more concerned with issues of senior services. Enlightened self interest, I think it's called. Now, do I think any more or any less of illegal immigrants? No, I assume that just like everyone else, they are concerned with issues that effect them and want a voice in those matters. Those with children concern themselves with schools, parks, etc. Seniors concern themselves with senior services, etc. It's human nature.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

"Now, do I think any more or any less of illegal immigrants? No, I assume that just like everyone else, they are concerned with issues that effect them and want a voice in those matters"

Therein lies your problem. Illegals come from a different country, a different culture, a different political system, a different way of life. Do you really think that people from all cultures are alike? Of course not. Until you walk in their shoes, you have no right to assume they view things the same way you do.

Did you experience abject poverty as a child? As a child, did you go to sleep hungry sharing a thin mat on a dirt floor with seven or eight siblings. As a child, were you depreived of an education because your family couldn't afford to clothe you properly or transport you to the nearest school, or maybe they needed you to work to help feed the younger mouths of the family. I didn't think so?

To think that the illegals want a voice in their children's school is the height of ignorance. Hell, they are merely happy that their children are going to school .

Are you for real??

And by the way, you didn't respond to my critique of your crime analogy. Are you abandoning that?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

I do find it curious that you're lecturing me at length that I have no idea what they want, because I haven't walked in their shoes and then you tell me what they want and don't want. Have you walked in their shoes? I lived in San Francisco for a number of years. Their status as a sanctuary city attracts illegal immigrants from far and wide. Talking to them, living near them, working with them has given me a certain insight, though I would never claim to have intimate knowledge of their situation. I suspect your insight is no more than mine, unless you are an illegal immigrant yourself. Even then, I think of that group as a diverse group with diverse ideas, varied concerns, a variety of opinions. No one person can speak for all 12 million of them. In that manner, they are like us. You can't speak for me any more than I can speak for you. But we can make some general assumptions. You would be correct in my opinion that they strive for a better way of life. But to limit that to just more money, more economic freedom and to dismiss the fact that they might want freedom of speech, freedom of religion, a voice in the government that rules, is to place limits on them I'm not sure are correct.
As to your crime critique, as I suggested, they are just like us, in many ways. They commit crimes for the same reasons. Other than the fact that minor crimes, those that would usually get us a slap on the wrist, but would get them deported, yet they are just as likely as anyone to commit those crimes. As I said, they're just like us, other than the fact that they're here illegally.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

Take my advice. If you are ever on the witness stand please, please please tell the truth. Because you are not very good at lying and perjury is a crime.

In an earlier statement you stated that you "assumed" illegals were like you. Then, in response to my critique you change your tune and state that your position is not an assumption, but instead, based on the fact that you lived near, worked with them, and talked with them.

Most illegals do the lowest form of manual labor. The clean toilets. They toil in the fields. They do toughest manual labor at construction sites. Until they recently penetrated the skilled building trades field, the only work they could find was work that Americans refused to do. I call college boys who claim to have worked alongside illegal immigrants liars.

You spoke with them, eh? Did you major in Spanish at KU. In case you didn't know, most illegals speak very very little English, if at all.

Oh, and living near a barrio is not the same thing as living in the barrio. When I lived in New York I was only a few blocks from Harlem. If I told my friends that I understood the hearts and minds of black folk because I lived near Harlem, they'd laugh at me.

And assuming you did run into a few Hispanics while living in San Francisco. How did you know they were illegals? I doubt one would reveal his illegal status to a gringo.

My advice: quit while you are ahead, and hope that you never are cross examined by me.

Sir, to be blunt and honest with you, If I cross examined you, I would tear you a new A-hole.

OH, and by the way, I majored in Latin American Studies, speak fluent Spanish, and in my youth was a (poorly) paid organizer for The United Farm Workers.

You have no idea what the experiences, hopes and aspirations of the Chicano people are .

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

Sir, I would never call you names. I don't appreciate being called a liar. However, as an attorney, you seems be afflicted with a pompous arrogance gained from years of thinking yourself more important than the rest of us.
While you were studying Latin American Studies, I was studying Social Work. Any thought that while plying my trade I might have come across an illegal or two. And like attorneys, where such information as legal status is gained in confidence, social workers also gain such insight. Perhaps you would rip me a new one if I were to take the stand. That is how your profession operates. In mine, we speak to them eye to eye, on equal founding. We gain their trust through mutual respect. Unlike members of your profession, who are running this country into the ground from Mount High and Mighty, I will not try to think my head higher than those we work with.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

Sir, you started with the insults by referring to my attitude as cavalier.

A good friend of mine taught social welfare at KU, and my mother obtained her MSW at KU , so I know a little about the subject. Unless you were working with a non governmental agency, i doubt you had much contact at all with illegals, as they stay away from state welfare agencies like the plague, because of their fear of deportation. Granted, there are private agencies, including many church groups, that minister to illegals. But I doubt you had such a position, because if you did, you would realize that illegals have absolutely no propensity towards illegal voting.

I am surprised to hear you studied social work at KU. I guess you never took any classes from Ben Zimmerman, Norm Forer, Ed Dutton, Don Chambers, Goody Garfield, et al. Had you taken some of their classes, i doubt you would be supporting a law that takes democratic rights away from people. The teachers I mentioned were passionate supporters of those rights, and invariably, it rubbed off on most of their students.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

I used to prosecute criminals a lot smarter than you.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm surprised at how with each post, you can make so many errors. I did indeed work at a private non profit, a transitional housing program working with homeless adults in the Bay area. And as I stated, S.F.'s sanctuary city status attracts illegal immigrants from far and wide, so my interactions with them in that setting was frequent. One of my colleagues, a person who had gone through the previous round of amnesty, felt quite comfortable assisting our clients with fraudulent claims for government assistance. It was something I never felt good about. But it was her attitude that prevailed in that agency, you know, all that social justice thing that also prevails up on the hill. Now I don't claim to speak for 12 million. The instances of voter fraud are rare indeed. Hopefully, more rare than the instances of fraud I witnessed. However, with a group that large, I would be foolish to assume the instances of voter fraud was zero. Reasonable precautions are, well, reasonable. BTW - It's a far cry from calling one's attitude cavalier and calling someone a liar and threatening to rip them a new one, if you know what I mean.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

I believe some blue state like Rhode Island have passed similar laws. I do not believe this is a partisan issue--all of us should agree that only citizens of the U. S should be allowed to vote--this can be implemented in a way that will not result in voter suppression!

Joe Hyde 5 years, 1 month 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.

tolawdjk 5 years, 1 month 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.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

How bout if we start cleaning up Kansas by deporting all of the ignorant folks who incorrectly believe that there are thousands of illegals registered to vote in Kansas.

tolawdjk 5 years, 1 month ago

Dang it. I bought this new "sarcasm emoter" offa eBay and apparently it doesn't work!

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

Whoops, I didn't read your missive closely enough. My apologies. Sometimes sarcasm is not easy to spot when it is partially hidden in what appears to be the rantings of a right wing lunatic.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 1 month ago

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

Hopefully those will work. If not, go to 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.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"No sane illegal will walk into a courthouse to sign an affidavit giving his / her name, address and identifying information to the government."

True. But might the same sane illegal walk into a voting place, give the name Lopez, then answer "yes" that it is Jose'. Easy scam, and not unlikely if one candidate wants to throw you out while another doesn't care if you stay.

You are right. No sane illegal is going to hand over THEIR information, but if they can get away with voting by using a little social hack, they just might. All the law should do is prevent illegals from skipping step one and going straight to two. The process should be as easy as signing an affidavit.

I'll grant you it is not really a problem now either way because the illegal population is small. But on the likelihood it should increase during our next boom time, why not have a law in place to address the problem?

I'm a libertarian and all, but the constitution states that only citizens can vote, and any failure to meet that demand to the extent possible is unconstitutional.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

Absurd suggestion. Illegals have no culture of voting. Do you really think they know how to access a registered voters list and find a suitable name. And if they are sophisticated enough to do that, they are sophisticated enough to realize that the person whose identity they choose to steal may have voted earlier in the day, or, that someone waiting in line or working the polls might know the real Jose.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Do you really think they know how to access a registered voters list"

Do you think illegals are too dumb to look at the list on election day and just pick a random name? Why would they bother looking at at registered voter list. I see the names of my neighbors when I vote.

"Illegals have no culture of voting."

I thought they voted in Canada. I guess they still have The Queen.

"And if they are sophisticated... Jose"

Perfectly legit compassion and logic you have there, but it takes a law to protect the constitution. Your points are well made, but they don't involve the legal process required to defend our constitution. I mean, "they don't usually do it" isn't a very good legal argument.

dabbindan 5 years, 1 month ago

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

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month 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.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

What if they were skinheads standing in front of a polling place in a predominately black area? Would that be OK? The only thing pathetic is that you are a bigot.

Mike Ford 5 years, 1 month ago

our clowns trot out birther comments and new black all that all you've 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.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

The so-called "anchor babies" are already protected under the constitution, which states than anyone born on American soil is an American citizen.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

And don't think there aren't people doing their darnedest to get a Constitutional amendment for that little problem.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

The last substantive constitutional amendment approved was over 40 years ago, when the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. And before that? Limiting the president to two terms. And before that? Repealing prohibition.

The constitution is exceptionally difficult to amend, and the whole process typically takes years.

We have too many real issues to address to fear something that hasn't even started.

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

There's no way we'd get the voting age lowered today.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month 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 ...)

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

Wouldn't have a chance at passing such legislation. Do you think the mega-wealthy, who export capital overseas so they can hire workers for 35 cents an hour, and invest their millions in hidden back accounts, would allow such law to pass?

And how do you enforce it. Do you open every envelop addressed to Mexcio. First of all, the Constitution requires probable cause to open mail, unless it is media mail, which has a lowered expectation of privacy because it can only contain certain printed material. And even if the Constitution were amended to allow such violations of privacy (which is as likely as monkeys spontaneously flying out of my butt) what do you do next? Seize the twenty dollar bill enclosed and replace it with a ten? Hell, the costs of enforcement alone would be thousands of times greater than the amount of money intercepted.

You suggestion is one of the most foolish things I have heard in a month of Sundays.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

The American markets have already been digitalized 90%, with only a slight decrease in the amount of paper currency in circulation. To suggest that paper money will be eliminated is even more bizarre than the law you suggested. The only way to eliminate currency would be to make it illegal, and buddy, if you think that is ever ever ever going to happen, I've got some bad news for you.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

The soft bigotry of low expectations. They believe that their voters are so stupid, lazy, confusticated, and bebothered that proving they are the person to whom the right belongs presents such an unwieldy burden that they will stay home and watch reruns of Maury or something rather than voting. These people truly cannot be so bothered.

The bigots may be right. But I'm glad it's them making the assertion and not me.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

I suggest you take a look at my above comment about obtaining a driver's license and tell me how many of those disenfranchised groups would have the resources to obtain those things.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

As I said, I don't believe minorities and old people are stupid. Perhaps you think the law is harder in them than on everyone else, but that's your bailiwick and your burden. I hold minorities to the same standard as I do everyone else because I believe them equal to everyone else.

Don't you?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month 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"?

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

oh--kind of like the way Obama stops coal plants in western Kansas--I don't think this is a one way street!

Mike Ford 5 years, 1 month ago

out of the county???? in a snap???? no facts ( from a source)...... rockchalk....good you know how gop costituents talk with the movie'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.

Orwell 5 years, 1 month 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.

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 1 month ago

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

BigAl 5 years, 1 month ago

Don't confuse the far right with facts and numbers. They were told by Mr. Kobach that there is voter fraud and that is good enough for them.

texburgh 5 years, 1 month 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?

Mike Ford 5 years, 1 month ago

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

BigAl 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't know about the extreme left. I really don't mind showing proof to vote. I am opposed to the reason of "voter fraud" as put forth by Kobach. There simply has NOT been any voter fraud. I feel as if this is perpetuated by the extreme right. Why does the extreme right hate America?

Fossick 5 years, 1 month 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.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

But you aren't the least bit concerned that the purported ill that this law cures doesn't even exist. You aren't the least bit concerned that the political process in this country is badly broken, that it actively discourages the majority of people from participating, or that the true purpose of this law is to further perpetuate that peculiar condition of disenfranchisement.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

I have not seen any evidence of widespread voter fraud, no. On the other hand, I think proving who you are when you vote is simply a matter of common sense. It's a pretty low hurdle, all things considered.

As far as the political process being badly broken, I agree that it is, but probably not with your solution. It started to go irretrievably off the tracks when the original Progressives removed much actual governance from the voters. That national economic policy is primarily set by an appointed board in secret meetings of a corporation owned by banks is the problem, not that grandma doesn't have a DL.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Creating a law that fixes a problem that doesn't even exist is not "common sense." Especially when it's only likely effect is the exacerbation of a very real problem-- the lack of participation in the political process by a majority of this country's citizens.

And I fail to see what anything in your second paragraph has to do with this campaign of voter suppression, except that that campaign is probably intended to perpetuate all that you list, but that didn't seem to be the point you were attempting to make.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, Bozo, but the Federal Reserve System (just one example of many) was created by Progressives to remove power from elected officials and place it in the hands of unelected "experts." In Kansas, the Supreme Court nomination process is controlled by lawyers, not voters, thanks to Populists. So long as real power is handled that way, it doesn't matter a whit who votes or how "involved" they are in the political process.

Those who wish to get rid of the Fed and place the nation's economic power back in the hands of voters are considered crazy by the same people who insist that everyone should vote. Weird, huh?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Weird, huh?"

What's weird is your defense of this voter suppression measure based on how f-upped the Fed is.

Get a grip, dude.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

How many voters will be suppressed? Give me a real number based on reality, not on some Cait48 hypotheticals. If it's not enough to make an actual difference in a given election, then it's just noise you're making, no more.

The Fed example is critical because it illustrates how liberals and progressives (and conservatives and Republicans) major in minors. They argue over whether the woman ought to wear phthalo blue or duke blue eyeshade and ignore her cancer. They debate tactics when the strategy is all wrong. One more Dem in Congress will not matter if banks own the nation's fiscal policy. Nor will one more Republican.

Let's say that your worst case scenario is true: KKKobach manages to suppress a couple hundred people who might have voted Democrat. So freaking what? Is Kansas so balanced that 100, 200, 2000 votes will change anything? Even if they did manage to elect a Dem somewhere somehow, does that put a single power into the hands of voters that they did not have before?

Not bloody likely. This whole debate is Shakespeare's tale told by an idiot: full of sound and fury, but in the end signifying nothing and changing nothing.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

That dog don't hunt. There is no difference between denying someone the right to vote because they can't count beans and denying someone the right to vote because they decide to spend their money on the medication they need to stay alive rather than on qualifying to vote. A poll tax is a poll tax is a poll tax. Especially when that poll tax is for a problem that doesn't exist. It's there for a reason, isn't it? So, if it's not for a non-existent problem, than just what is it for?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

How do you reconcile your position with the fact that courts have ruled otherwise? Either you're wrong or the courts are.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

"A poll tax is a poll tax is a poll tax"

Except it's not a poll tax. See Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.

And I suspect that there are even fewer people who "spend their money on the medication they need to stay alive rather than on qualifying to vote" than there are busloads of Somalis voting illegally all over KC. Your hypothetical people are just as phantasmal as Kobach's.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month 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.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

At least you didn't say "baited." I salute you.

William Weissbeck 5 years, 1 month 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.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

+1 We rolled over on this one so the networks can "call" the election 30 minutes after the polls close. Who cares? Take a day or two and get it right and preserve the record. He who owns the software owns the results. As one of Sam's C-Street Cult heros allegedly said:

"It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." (Josef Stalin) " Even if he didn't say this, he's right.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Scrapping the voting machines isn't the correct answer. Making the source code for the machines publicly available and the machines available to party representatives is a smarter move. We have brilliant technology, we should use it.

I also think each vote should be on paper and scanned so every election can be meticulously and transparently scrutinized down to the last chad.

William Weissbeck 5 years, 1 month ago

Been to the grassy knoll lately? I heard that Marilyn and Elvis were there too.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

So? Left, right, whatever. Money is money and people give it away as they see fit. The voters will settle all this in August and November. Settle down, Bubba/Bubbette. Contribute to those politicians or parties you like and let others do the same.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 1 month 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.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, the real bottom line is this: This legislation is for a "problem" that doesn't exist. So what's the true reason? Because believe me, it's there for a reason. I and many others believe that reason is deliberate disenfranchisement of groups demographically known to overwhelmingly vote for anybody other than the current oligarchs in power. If that is NOT the reason than a valid reason needs to be shown. To date, it has not. To actually look at a "bottom line" you have to calculate the positives against the negatives. The negative impact of this legislation far, far outweighs the positives. It is the equivalent of cutting off a foot to get rid of a splinter in a toe. If you truly believe in democracy (which I don't believe you do but WTH, it's just my opinion) 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. This faux concern for "citizenship" is just as much a cynical and deliberate attempt to manipulate the system as your faux "concern" for women.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

I disagree with you on this issue, as do over 70% of the people, according to polls! Because this is a democratic republic the voters will express their will through their elected representatives.

MyName 5 years, 1 month ago

No, that's not a real problem. And the proof: proponents of the bill can't even find .1% of the people who vote who engage in this practice. But since, in some alternative universe, they might vote "Team D" when/if those non-illegal voting immigrants become citizens, we must do are darndest to go after them early and often! Let them know their vote counts, in some other state!

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

So you advocate going back to the original, unamended Constitution where the only people allowed to vote were property owning males? I see.

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

That wasn't actually in the Constitution, you realize. Just sayin'.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 1 month 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."

Fossick 5 years, 1 month 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.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

Wow. What a strawman argument. Your analogy is about as apples and oranges as it gets. "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with BS." (Oh, I also believe that when Chesterton wrote that, he meant something entirely different than the interpretation you're putting on it. Please, I can feel the breeze from his grave spinning here. You're almost as good at taking words out of context as a religious right wing fundy with a Bible.)

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

o k. more liberal attacks on people and their religious beliefs! Wonder what the anti-defamation league for Christians would say about your words and tone?

Fossick 5 years, 1 month ago

Do you believe that 2-year-olds ought to be able to vote? If not, then not even you believe that support for the right in the collective demands support for the right of every person in every situation. Since no one believes that everyone has the right to vote in every situation, is no one a democrat?

Re: Chesterton, now you're just babbling. So before you set yourself up as an expert on 19th century British journalists, why don't you share with the class what work is alluded to, what Chesterton meant when he said it, and precisely how I have misrepresented him.

Sharon Nottingham 5 years, 1 month 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.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.