Archive for Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Voter turnout normal despite new voter ID law

August 7, 2012


According to Douglas County officials, the new voter ID law passed its first big test: primary elections.

9,020, or 13 percent, of registered Douglas County voters, voted Tuesday, which is on par with the 2010 primary election voter turnout numbers.

It might be lower than Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s prediction of 18 percent, but it was not the drop-off many had worried about.

Some believed that the new law, requiring voters to present photo IDs, might have suppressed turnout.

Douglas County election official Austin Turney said this was not the case.

“The ID part went very smoothly,” he said. Election workers reported plenty of grumbling about the new law but had few instances of people lacking an ID.

Both Shew and Turney agreed that those participating in this election were more involved and affiliated voters — ones who had likely read about the law and came prepared.

But that might not be the case come November.

“General election will be a whole different ballgame, I think,” Turney said.

Turney said many who vote in the general election are mainly concerned with voting in the presidential race and are less likely to be prepared.

Shew did say the election had a few small hitches. He said many residents at the Pioneer Ridge Nursing Home lacked photo IDs, but that Douglas County would be able to provide the residents with county-issued IDs to allow them to vote. Redistricting and the change of polling locations also caused confusion. But Shew said he had an extra election worker monitoring provisional ballots — those filled out without a photo ID or in the incorrect polling location — and the number of those did not appear to be abnormally high.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

Isn't is nice when lawlessness for once doesn't prevail!

It is to bad that you need to be who you say you are and are alive and breathing.

Now we need to have you show your last years income tax return to prove you actually pay taxes before you vote! WOOT!

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm completely unsurprised to hear you advocating for a poll tax.

mdlund0 5 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps we should also have you show your high school diploma to prove that you're educated enough to make competent decisions.

Alyosha 5 years, 9 months ago

comment duplicated do to Internal Server Error.

Alyosha 5 years, 9 months ago

This muddled and confused comment implies that lawlessness has prevailed in the past. It's hard to tell from this comment, but the suggestion seems to be that past electoral victories were the result of "lawlessness." Presumably the writer means that more people fraudulently voted than people who did not fraudulently vote, and that elections hinged on the legions of "lawless" voters. Presumably as well (I doubt the writer actually thought it through, such is knee-jerk thinking) that means that all prior Republican victories in Kansas (especially in primaries, where you must be a Republican to vote in the Republican primary) were the result of "lawless" Republicans casting fraudulent votes.

See what happens when one lets partisan emotional reactionism override your God-given powers of reason? One makes blisteringly inane statements.

Moreover, the writer appears to favor disenfranchising fellow Americans purely on the basis of the tax code. A single father who does not make enough to pay federal income tax would, in this writer's ideal world, not have any voice — any representation, in the Founders' terms — in his government, of which he is sovereign.

That's a wholly un-American perspective and one that deserves zero respect or support.

Again, see what happens when one let's emotional reactionism and extremism take over one's faculties of reason?

Steve Jacob 5 years, 9 months ago

I never thought of that! All the talk of the poor (Democrats) not having photo ID's, when the old people (Republicans) who vote all the time have not drove in years.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

We don't know who didn't vote. We only know who did vote. It seems to me that even the 2010 turnout was low for our precinct. I have heard some people say that they do not have time to research and sort out the issues and decide who to vote for. How widespread is this problem?

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 9 months ago

That's why a number of folks I know said they weren't going to vote. (And did I miss the J-W "before-the-election" page where we could actually see who was running and for what office? Or have I just been imagining that they've done this in the past.)

Heck...I didn't even have to waste my time...yes, waste my because, in my precinct, not one single Republican had an opponent!! (Yes, there were 2 guys listed in one race, but one of those guys had already dropped out!)

Oh voting streak remains intact.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

I have been bugging Scott on this issue. We hardly get any information from the newspaper before or after the election. Remember the turnout reported by precinct?

Fossick 5 years, 9 months ago

It looks like the voter law disenfranchised the moderates: "Conservatives needed to pick up just three or four seats to turn the direction of the Senate. ...If the trend continued, it appeared that conservatives would be able to turn at least 10 moderate seats in their favor.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

The idea that a 12% turnout is "normal" is horrifying.

And, why is a 6% lower turnout than predicted by Kobach not meaningful?

I wait for those who like to do so to crow about "mandates" and the "will of the people", even though those sorts of statements are obviously absurd.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

Go to any bar in town and ask the doorman which type of ID is most commonly forged and I will bet you they will say military IDs. I have no explanation as to why that is true, but I've been told that several times.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

That's not what I said. What I said was that from speaking to several people, military IDs are easily forged. You are free to infer the rest, if you choose.

jesse499 5 years, 9 months ago

Barcode reader ? Took my Kansas drivers license she looked at me and the picture done sign go vote it was just so time consuming that it took less time than what it did before.

RoeDapple 5 years, 9 months ago

I showed the ladies an x-ray picture of my hip replacement and volunteered to show 'em my scar. One of 'em said okay but the other said no. They was still talkin boutit when I was done.

jesse499 5 years, 9 months ago

Should have showed an x-ray of your head they sure wouldn't let you vote!

RoeDapple 5 years, 9 months ago

There ya go, gettin all intellectual and stuff . . .

somedude20 5 years, 9 months ago

I voted at Cordley around 6 last night and they said I was number 77, that is weak. If you don't vote, then shut the heck up. For the most part, it takes more effort to make a sandwich then it does to vote. There are plenty of chubsters but only a 13% turnout

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Pretty much everything about our electoral system ensures low voter turnout-- Nasty political ads designed to alienate voters, not educate them; interminable campaigns that numb voters to complacency rather than energize them into participation; the well-based belief that the candidates we get to pick from (especially at the national level) are carefully vetted by powerful special interests that ensure that those interests are taken care of, at the expense of everyone else; news media who are more interested in covering the "horse race" and "personality" aspects of elections rather than the policy issues at stake.

And the voter ID laws are designed to be just one more way to keep voter turnout low, which makes it much easier for powerful special interests to maintain control of government at the expense of public policies that would be much better for the great majority of citizens.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

Yet you see through the charade. I see through it. Apparently, the majority of posters here see through it. What makes us so special?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

I think most people see through it-- whether they post here or not, whether they voted or not.

Maybe things just need to totally hit bottom before complacency is no longer an option. There are some indications that there are cracks in the wall of complacency. The Tea Party, though primarily an astroturf campaign of the Koch Bros and Fox News, nevertheless has a strong populist current to it that the powers-that-be won't be able to control as their race-to-the-bottom economic policies take further effect. And the Occupy Movement is already eschewing electoral politics in favor of other actions that could find much wider resonance, especially if Austerity Hysteria is allowed to completely trash what's left of the economy for the middle and working class.

The way things are going, something like the Arab Spring could very easily find its way to this country.

sugarmonkey 5 years, 9 months ago

I say this with honesty not sarcasm or any harsh tone. I just don't understand what the big deal is about showing ID. I show my id for my bank, when I use my credit card, enrolling in classes, getting a birth certificate copy, purchasing a car, writing a check, etc, etc, etc. Why not voting? There are many different forms of ID one can use to show identity (even if you're elderly and don't have a driver's license). In my opinion, I find it refreshing that something as important as voting requires one to show and prove who they are before choosing his/her candidate. When I turned 18, I was surprised that I could just go to my polling station and state my name without any identity. How did they know that who I claimed to be was true? I realize that voting fraud is low in Kansas but shouldn't this be a national law so that ANY percentage of fraud (whether it high or low, thousands of people or even just one) be eradicated? Voting to me is a privilege we receive for being an American citizen and I hope I never take it for granted. Enjoy the discussion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"I just don't understand what the big deal is about showing ID."

It's pretty simple-- there are literally millions of eligible voters who don't have ID's, and obtaining one comes with considerable expense and effort that is often not within their ability to afford. It's a poll tax, pure and simple.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

So the state sets pointless hurdles to voting, and all you can say is that it's their right to do it, so just deal with it even if it really does mean that for millions of people it will mean they can't vote for no reason other than arbitrary pettiness.

The Republicans have become the party of people who emotionally and intellectually never advanced beyond 4th grade.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 9 months ago

So, the population of Kansas is approximately 2.9 million. About 25% of the population is below legal voting age. That leaves about 2.175 million Kansans who are eligible to vote (not factoring in those who can’t vote for other reasons).

If “there are literally millions of eligible voters who don't have ID's” (millions meaning at least 2 million), that would mean only 175K Kansans could vote in the election held yesterday.

If all 175K were registered and voter turnout was about 15% then 26K voted. This leaves us with about 1% of the state’s population deciding the primaries.

Of course, these numbers would be skewed if the “millions of eligible voters who don’t have ID’s” is a hyperbole, intentionally used to entice fear when there isn’t really a significant problem.\

I wonder which case it really is.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

The "millions of voters" is a national number, not a state one. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

Regardless, the numbers in Kansas are still in the thousands, and in a close election, enough to make a difference-- precisely why Republicans, who depend on low voter turnout, like these new laws.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 9 months ago

I doubt that low voter turnout has a significant effect on most of the elections in the state and I don’t necessarily agree with your assertion that voter suppression was the goal of the law. The only way to know for sure would to be inside of the mind of Kobach and I am positive that I don’t want to be there. As a registered independent, I don’t get to participate in the primaries anyway so how about this:

Eliminate primary elections; put everyone on the ballot for the general election. This could very well remove the incentive for voter suppression, if it is actually happening. The voters that you could suppress could be the middle of the road people that could swing the election your way.

I know it will never happen because neither of the two branches of the Republicrat/Dempublican party wants to lose the power that the primaries give them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"and I don’t necessarily agree with your assertion that voter suppression was the goal of the law."

Then you must believe that it was done for no purpose at all.

What we really need to do is go to a parliamentary system with proportional representation. But that gives every viewpoint the opportunity for representation, which makes it very unlikely to ever happen. The current winner-take-all system serves the interests of wealthy special interests, and they ain't about to give it up.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

I was surprised when I moved back to Kansas some years ago that I didn't have to show my voter registration card when I voted like I did where I moved from. In principle, I have no problem with photo ID---what I and so many others have a problem with is the fact (1) that it can be expensive and/or next to impossible for some eligible voters to get a photo ID and (2) the purpose of pushing this law through and implementing it so quickly seems to be aimed at voter disenfranchisement rather than voter fraud.

This, together with the influence of hugh amounts of money in elections, much of it coming from sources outside the state or districts of the people running and much of it from sources that are legally hidden, scares me for the future of our state and country. Many of the extreme candidates who beat out the moderates were funded by sources outside their areas. Even sadder still is that the one who spends the most money usually seems to win. (I don't have statistics for that and would really like for someone to prove me wrong.)

Alyosha 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow, we are in the presence of a bonafide mind-reader, who can tell the emotions of someone they don't know! Bigtoe, provide evidence of the writer's emotional state. If you can't, your comment is wildly hyperbolic nonsense.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

13% turnout is less than pathetic. And that's 13% of the registered voters. How many people are legally eligible to vote, but haven't bothered to register or haven't been able to?

13% is barely over 2/3s of what Kobach predicted. Yes, I think that is significant. However, that's only for Douglas County. Marshall County (Marysville) had a turnout of 32.35 percent of registered voters. Harvey County (north of Wichita) had 23.18 percent. Does anybody know what the turnout for the entire state was? I haven't been able to find that number.

In the Harvey County Commission 2nd District race, at present the vote is 703 to 692 with 85 provisional ballets still not counted. It will be interesting to see why the ballots are provisional and how many are counted. I think that situations like this will tell us more about the real effect of the new voter laws. The whole story hasn't been written yet, but this does show that your one vote counts.

We are very complacent because most of us still have it pretty good in comparison to so many other countries and some areas of our own, despite what Koch/Brownback has done to our state.

The French get mad, they throw up the barriers. The English get mad, they riot. They can change their government legally through called elections. We protest and the U.S. so-called liberal media pretty much ignores it. You will hear more about it from foreign media---BBC for one example. I think it will have to get much worse before we are shaken out of our complacency and by that time we may have gone over the cliff.

This should inspire people to get out and vote in the general election. Do you really want Douglas County to look that bad?

meggers 5 years, 9 months ago

I think the true test will be the general election. A lot of people don't make the effort to vote in primary elections, either because they aren't paying attention, they don't know the candidates well enough, or there isn't much being contested. For Democrats, especially, there were very few contested primaries yesterday.

lunacydetector 5 years, 9 months ago

"voter turnout normal despite new voter ID law" how can this be? where are the suppressed voters who don't have an ID that we've heard so much about?

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