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Archive for Sunday, August 5, 2012

Voter ID questions continue

August 5, 2012

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Topeka — A group opposed to the state law that requires Kansans to show a government-issued photo ID to vote will have volunteers at some polls Tuesday to see whether any voters are being deprived of their right to vote.

“This law was pushed forward without thinking things through,” said Louis Goseland, coordinator for the KanVote campaign.

On Tuesday, voters across the state will participate in Republican and Democratic party primaries.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach pushed the photo ID requirement through the Legislature, saying it was needed to protect against voter fraud. Critics say that incidents of voter fraud are almost nonexistent in Kansas and that the ID requirement will disenfranchise some elderly and minority voters who don’t have a photo ID.

There have been several local elections in Kansas since the photo requirement took effect at the start of the year. But this is the first statewide test.

Registered voters in Kansas who don’t have a photo ID can get a free one from the Division of Motor Vehicles if they have proof of identity and residence.

But a recent report cited problems. For instance, in downtown Wichita there is only one office to serve 160,700 eligible voters, which is eight times the customer base of the average office statewide.

In addition, 7,373 voting-age Kansans have no vehicle and live more than 10 miles from offices where they can get state-issued IDs, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

So far, the state has issued 32 free nondriver IDs, Kobach said. Douglas County has become the first county in the state to issue its own IDs for the purpose of voting.

The county has issued six of these, Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said.

One elderly couple got the IDs, saying it was easier to walk to the Courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts streets, than try to catch a bus to go to the Division of Motor Vehicles, 1035 N. Third St. in North Lawrence, to get the state ID, Shew said.

Shew said he believes most people are aware that a photo ID is required to vote, but some are confused about what forms of ID are acceptable.

The state website gotvoterid.com lists the valid photo IDs:

l A driver’s license or nondriver’s identification card issued by Kansas or by another state or district of the United States

l A concealed carry of handgun license issued by Kansas or a concealed carry of handgun or weapon license issued by another state or district of the United States.

l A United States passport.

l An employee badge or identification document issued by a municipal, county, state or federal government office.

l A military identification document issued by the United States.

l A student identification card issued by an accredited postsecondary institution of education in the state of Kansas.

l A public assistance identification card issued by a municipal, county, state or federal government office.

l An identification card issued by an Indian tribe.

Shew said some voters also are concerned over whether their current address has to match what is on the ID, or whether their ID will be accepted if they look different now from the photo.

Kobach has said pollworkers have been trained to allow for differences in appearance between the voter and the voter’s photo ID. A person’s current address does not have to match what is on the ID, Shew said.

Kobach said he doubted many voters would not have ID, but he said for those who don’t, they can still cast a provisional ballot and get the ID within the next few days to have their votes count.

But Ernestine Krehbiel of Wichita, president of the League of Women Voters, said some elderly and low-income Kansans would be unable to get the necessary documents together in time to get the state-issued ID. She said she spoke about this at a forum in March with Kobach, and Kobach held up his smartphone and said he could retrieve documents with the device.

Krehbiel said most elderly Kansans don’t have smartphones.

Comments

unclebiff 1 year, 8 months ago

The time has come for photo I.D. and I have no problem with it.

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autie 1 year, 8 months ago

Cant_have_it_both_ways1 day, 1 hour ago

You should have to show a photo ID every time you cash your welfare check.

Prime example of how out of touch the far right is. They haven't issued checks in years. Everything like TANF and SNAP are paid on debit type cards. But hey, who misses a chance to make an assinine comment?

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

Update: As of 8:30 this morning everyone in line to vote already had their drivers liscence out before signing in. Can't wait to hear the " stories " of discrimination at the polls.

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autie 1 year, 8 months ago

Evaluate the demand on the system. 32 isn't a statistically significant number of the electorate. Consider as well the expenditure of effort. Given all the flap about this, I’m sure someone is measuring how many people are being turned away from the poles today for lack of a proper ID. That will come out in the days ahead and will also be a statistically insignificant number.

Speaking of cost and statistically insignificant number what about the number of cases of voter fraud in Kansas that are verifiable that predicate the need for this law?

Game, set, match.

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Ken Hunt 1 year, 8 months ago

Shame on us for letting this happen.

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jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

The strange thing is that the address doesn't have to match your registered address.

So, the ID will prove you are who you should be (unless it's fake), but not that you live where you're registered to vote.

Isn't that a problem?

What if you've moved, but haven't updated your address on your driver's license? You'll be voting in the wrong district, and for the wrong people.

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classclown 1 year, 8 months ago

voevoda

Only 26 people out of thousands have availed themselves of the "free" voter ID system Kobach brags about (omitting the 6 who used Jamie Shew's new county system): that tells us that the obstacles to obtaining the ID are very great. Too great.

August 6, 2012 at 11:31 a.m

==========================================================

Or it could be telling us that all those people we consider to be disenfranchised in reality don't care.

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jessie 1 year, 8 months ago

Well I am concerned that so much of Kris Kobach's time has been spent on this issue.
He is only working part-time for Kansas as it is.

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tbaker 1 year, 8 months ago

"So far, the state has issued 32 free nondriver IDs."

It looks like we have 32 examples of folks being able to get the ID needed to vote, so is it still reasonable to argue that minorities, the poor, students and senior citizens, etc., somehow lack the ability to obtain an ID for voting purposes? I would ask where is the evidence of this? Looks like 32 people have been able to figure it out so far. Whats stopping the rest of the disenfranchised masses from franchising themselves? I don’t think there are any “masses” to begin with. The whole argument against the voter ID law was a Red Herring from the start. The fact 32 people showed up to get a State-issued ID is made news-worthy only by its insignificance.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 8 months ago

But this was the whole point of Kobach's attacks on voters, to confuse and eliminate any voters who might vote for a demonrat, Is thwere anyone who does not see this agenda??

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 8 months ago

You should have to show a photo ID every time you cash your welfare check.

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Laura Wilson 1 year, 8 months ago

I really don't get the point of making us show IDs to prove we're Lawrence citizens if the address on it doesn't have to match your current one! Just what are they trying to prove?

This whole thing is a stupid waste of time and money. I'll be voting but doing so under protest.

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voevoda 1 year, 8 months ago

Persons who were born outside the state of Kansas have a difficult time obtaining a birth certificate. In order to get a birth certificate by mail from some states, one must already have a photo ID with a valid current address. In effect, those individuals are permanently disenfranchised in Kansas. There's no question that the current ID law severely inconveniences a sizable number of potential voters. Only 26 people out of thousands have availed themselves of the "free" voter ID system Kobach brags about (omitting the 6 who used Jamie Shew's new county system): that tells us that the obstacles to obtaining the ID are very great. Too great.

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Clara Westphal 1 year, 8 months ago

Free photo ID. Mine cost me $20.00.

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classclown 1 year, 8 months ago

I would not at all be surprised to hear about a few people (especially from here) intentionally forgetting their IDs in the hope of being able to raise a big stink.

Furthermore, I would not be surprised if a certain reporter from this very news establishment just happened to be right on the scene to report on it.

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jaywalker 1 year, 8 months ago

"7,373 voting-age Kansans have no vehicle and live more than 10 miles from offices where they can get state-issued IDs"

Can't get to the ID's so how they getting to the polls?

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

A recent survey indicated that one third of eligible voters could not name all three branches of government while another third could not name even one. I'm not at all surprised that some are confused about ID requirements. They are probably equally surprised at the level of difficulty when walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Are we really sure we want to increase voter participation? (asked in jest, I think)

1

Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 8 months ago

Kansas photo ID law risks stripping voters of their rights

Tuesday’s primary election is the first major run for Kansas’ unnecessary and restrictive photo ID requirement.

Certainly everyone favors a clean election decided by legally eligible voters. Kansas voters already swear when they sign the voting books that they are in fact who they claim to be and legally registered, punishable by law if it is not so.

But the new photo ID law implies that fraud is significant, and somehow a photo ID will stop the illegal mass of voters taking advantage of America’s great democracy.

The worriers should rest. Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom reports no rush of voter fraud allegations since Kris Kobach took over the Secretary of State’s office, bringing his fear campaign with him. The only two problem voting cases forwarded to the U.S. Attorney in the last two years were initially brought by the previous Democratic secretary of state. Neither actually constituted voter fraud.

Read more here: http://voices.kansascity.com/entries/kansas-photo-id-law-risks-stripping-voters-their-rights/#storylink=cpy

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