Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ballot rejected for using foreign ID

August 16, 2012


The Douglas County election canvass committee on Thursday rejected the provisional ballot of a voter who presented a Russian identification card during the Aug. 7 primary in protest of Kansas’ voter ID law.

Related document

Write-in candidates ( .PDF )

How the canvass worked

Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern and County Commissioners Nancy Thellman and Mike Gaughan performed the election canvass for the Aug. 7 primary in a meeting Thursday in the County Courthouse. They reviewed the poll books, ballot tabulator tapes, provisional ballot requests and list of write-in candidates.

County Clerk Jamie Shew said that none of the races was close enough to have been affected by acceptance or denial of provisional ballots.

The committee rejected 59 votes that Shew had recommended not be counted. These contested ballots included 23 from people not registered in Douglas County, 13 who broke party affiliation rules, six advance voters who didn’t sign their ballots and 15 provisional voters who did not provide the clerk’s office with proof of ID between the primary and Thursday’s canvass. Shew said most of these 15 people had been contacted and had told clerk’s office employees that they did not present ID in protest of the law. In total, 170 provisional ballots were cast.

County Clerk Jamie Shew presented Nathan Pettengill’s ballot to the committee Thursday morning as one of two votes he suggested the committee decide whether to accept. Pettengill told the committee he did not intend “to make a political statement but to point out a need for clarification in the law.” Kansas law doesn’t specifically state that the ID presented to vote has to be issued by the United States federal government, he said, and it does not require an ID to not be expired.

Pettengill chose to identify himself as the voter in question by attending the canvass and speaking to the committee. He is an employee of Sunflower Publishing, which, like the Journal-World, is owned by the World Company.

Shew gave committee members — Sheriff Ken McGovern and County Commissioners Mike Gaughan and Nancy Thellman — a letter from Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office contesting Pettengill’s claim. According to the letter, the term “federal” in the Kansas law refers only to the United States federal government. Regardless, Pettengill said, only the Legislature should define laws, not the secretary of state.

He wasn’t the only voter to attempt a protest. Out of the 46 provisional ballots given because of the new law, 15 people told the clerk’s office they had no intention to provide proof of ID because of their political objections, Shew said.

Gaughan said that he thought the voter ID law “is poorly written” but that it wasn’t the committee’s place to protest or try to change it. Thellman agreed, saying that the arena for making the political argument about the law should be outside the election. All three committee members voted to not count Pettengill’s provisional ballot in the official election results.

The other “no recommendation” ballot was cast by someone who attempted to vote five minutes after the polling place had closed. Citing that the committee had voted before to not count these kinds of ballots, all three members voted against counting this ballot in the official results as well.

Shew recommended counting 109 provisional ballots, all of which were accepted.


uglyrumor 1 year, 8 months ago

Taking away others rights and trying to force your beliefs on them = conservative values.


1 year, 8 months ago

It is necessary to prove citizenship when registering to vote for the first time in Kansas. However, the process should not be as onerous as it is. Requiring documentation that many don't have and don't easily have access to is voter suppression. This is clearly the intent of Kobach's Law. Rather, clearly the intent of ALEC's Law that The Guv told Kobach to take the lead on.

Further, there is no provision that I've found for reciprocity in the law. Let's say someone moves from MO to KS. They were registered to vote in MO and had voted for many years there. When registering to vote in KS, the law dictates they must supply documentation certifying they were the result of a live human birth within the United States and it's protectorates. In effect, Kobach is thumbing his nose at the MO process saying we (meaning he) don't trust your voter registration processes. If he does that with voting, why doesn't the DMV do the same thing with a driver's license. How can we trust their driver's license process?

@OonlyBonly. You said, "What a bunch of......... The most important duty in this country is to vote yet you Liberals think anyone should be able to just walk up to the table and vote. Absurd! They didn't chose to "suppress" their vote they chose to "make a statement.""

Odd you think everyone against the law is Liberal; you're painting with a very broad brush. Read the article, the people were allowed to vote with a provisional ballot. It was only when they appeared at the Court House did they express their political objections. It didn't say they were Liberal or Conservative. I know two people who voted provisionally and are Conservative, yet their reason when they voted was to protest the law. I know several Conservatives who raised objections to the law, yet showed their picture ID.

If the most important duty in this country is to vote, then why is there a small average turnout for elections? Just over 55% for Federal Elections and less than 40% for off-year elections. ( In fact, The Guv (aka The Statehouse Bully) got elected by less than 1/3 of the registered voters. (

@Alyosha. Use these links instead:

On another subject, since the State Constitution was brought up. As a note, The Guv (aka The Statehouse Bully) is regularly violating Section 7 of the Kansas State Constitution Bill of Rights. "The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any person be compelled to attend or support any form of worship; nor shall any control of or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, nor any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship."


JackKats 1 year, 8 months ago

According to Alyosha, and the document that is referenced, he or she agrees with Kobach.

Maybe you should have read on.

SEC. 4. The Legislature shall pass such laws as may be necessary for ascertaining, by proper proofs, the citizens who shall be entitled to the right of suffrage hereby established.


mccgirl80 1 year, 8 months ago

It doesn't say this anywhere in the article, but Nathan Pettengill is a United States citizen. Just wanted to clarify this as some of the comments have alluded to non-US citizens having the right to vote.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

Even if every non-citizen in Kansas were allowed to go to the polls and participate in elections, it'd likely have no effect on the outcome of elections.

But Republicans are all about fear-mongering, so we must be made to fear those evil foreigners who, in reality, have little or no interest in participating in our elections. Hell, the majority of citizens don't even bother to vote most of time.


OonlyBonly 1 year, 8 months ago

What a bunch of......... The most important duty in this country is to vote yet you Liberals think anyone should be able to just walk up to the table and vote. Absurd! They didn't chose to "suppress" their vote they chose to "make a statement."


Alyosha 1 year, 8 months ago

It's time to return to the traditional, historic values and beliefs upon which the State of Kansas was founded.

When the state was founded, Kansans explicitly allowed non-US citizens to vote. See

I stand for traditional Kansas values and practices. Do you?


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

So, in addition to the 25 disenfranchised voters in Shawnee County, we can add another 15 in Douglas County. Kobach's vote suppression campaign is working.


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