Archive for Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Statehouse Live: Committee approves new voter registration requirements

February 8, 2012


— A committee Wednesday recommended approval of a bill that would require proof of U.S. citizenship for new voter registrations starting June 15 instead of Jan. 1, 2013, which was the date approved by legislators last year as part of the new voter ID law.

Republicans on the House Elections Committee pushed the bill, sought by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to the full House for consideration, while Democrats opposed it.

State Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka, said accelerating the date for proof of citizenship would prevent many from being able to vote. She noted the closing date to register to vote would be four weeks before the August primaries, and she predicted many women would have difficulty registering because their married names are different from the names on their birth certificates, which can be used to prove citizenship.

“We’re going to have a lot of people in trouble trying to register to vote,” Mah said, predicting that if the bill takes effect, it will be struck down in court.

But state Rep. TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, said women shouldn’t have trouble with the legislation.

Gregory said that after her divorce she carried her divorce paperwork for three years.

“It was not difficult for me at all to prove my name change,” Gregory said. She said the bill expects “people to have personal responsibility.”

Kobach said the bill was needed to ensure that no illegal immigrants were registering to vote in the 2012 elections. Voting rights advocates said Kansas election officials were not ready to handle the new requirements on top of requirements approved last year that will force voters to show photo ID at the polls.

Earlier, the committee held a hearing on House Bill 2224, which was introduced last year by state Rep. Connie O’Brien, R-Tonganoxie. The bill would require any candidate for national or state office to prove U.S. citizenship with a certified copy of a birth certificate, driver’s license or other government-issued identification. The secretary of state’s office testified in favor of the bill. The committee took no immediate action on that measure.


Hooligan_016 6 years, 4 months ago

Disagree, when the government is the entity demanding verification, then yes, the onus is on the government to prove it.

gccs14r 6 years, 4 months ago

Unless the State is going to offer identification cards for free (including making arrangements for transportation to and from the facility creating the ID and providing all supporting documentation at no charge), this is in effect a poll tax, something that has already been declared unconstitutional.

deec 6 years, 4 months ago

True. What mechanism has been put in place for reimbursing people born in other states who need a birth certificate copy?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, according to the Constitution the right to vote isn't dependent on paying taxes. That, in essence, is a "poll tax" in and of itself.

tomatogrower 6 years, 4 months ago

I would be willing to donate money to the first person who couldn't get their birth certificate in time to vote in Kansas and was turned away from voting so they could take it to court.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 4 months ago

Frankly, I'm waiting to see what happens to my vote.

I'm registered here in Kansas under my name. Under the name I have used legally for decades and decades and decades and decades and...well, the name I have used for most of my life and which everyone knows me by.

The same name that is on my bank accounts and my will and my credit cards and my social security card and on our investment accounts and insurance and deeds and car titles and...well, on everything except my birth certificate (which has my maiden name :-) and my frickin' Kansas driver's license - which is my photo ID.

The name on my drivers license is my married name. Why? Because the Kansas DMV said they couldn't put my real name there, even though they acknowledged my name is 100% my legal name under Kansas law, because the DMV was restricted as to what they could accept as "proof" of who I was.

I love my husband to pieces, but I simply don't use my married name and have no interest in starting. And I have voted legally in Kansas for the 32 years I've lived here under my name.

But now...when I present my photo ID...I wonder what's going to happen to my vote?

And, no...I sure as heck shouldn't have to go re-register under a name that is NOT my legal name!!! I mean...doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose of this whole nonsense?

newmedia 6 years, 4 months ago

It wouldn't make any different if it was June 15, 2050, Mah would still complain. No news here... Pass it and move on.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 4 months ago

That is the dumbest excuse yet stopping illegals from voting. I'm sure they are all rushing to the polls and taking the chance they would get caught. What a liar and all the rest of the republicans that go along with this are included. There was a lot of voter fraud last election how else did these jerks win every office statewide. Nobody has made koch butt produce statistics on fraud. Sounds like a way to stop minorities from voting.

Clara Westphal 6 years, 4 months ago

Whenever I go to the bank, the doctor's office, and the hospital, I have to show photo ID, I have to have something with my date of birth on it.. It isn't that hard to register to vote if you are legally in the USA.

deec 6 years, 4 months ago

None of those things are a right. Voting is. And where in the world do you doctor at that you have to show id? If you had a heart attack in the bathtub, would you be refused treatment at the hospital because you didn't have an i.d. on you?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 4 months ago

A certified copy of your birth certificate should already be in your posession. If you dont have your personal matters in order, then maybe you are to freekin dumb to vote.

If you are smart enough to have the documents you need to get on assistance or welfare, then you should be smart enough to have what you need to vote.

TimW 6 years, 4 months ago

Define "certified".

What state was it where a member of the legislature put forth a bill requiring all running for office to provide a "state-certified, raised-seal copy of their birth certificate" and when asked to provide a copy of her own was told that her state issued no such thing?

I believe it was Tennessee.

TimW 6 years, 4 months ago

Mea culpa...

My mind conflated "certified" with "long-form" for a moment.

It's still silly though.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 4 months ago

No. You, personally, BELIEVE that everyone should already have a certified copy of their birth certificate in their possession. You, personally, BELIEVE that that is required in order to "have your personal affairs in order".

What is your thinking? That it was easy and affordable for you to be able to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, ergo it is easy and affordable for everyone else and, if they don't get it, that must a poor personal choice on their part?

Well, tell that to my stepmom - those darned old people and their being born at home out in the country to parents who didn't know your rules. What were they thinking???

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 4 months ago

Many of these new state laws requiring voter ID have been challenged. and are wending their way through the courts as we speak. The only reason that Kansas' hasn't been challenged is because the DOJ is dealing with those states on the "watch list". (Southern states that attempted the poll tax to disenfranchise black people, specifically outlawed by the Constitution in the 24th Amendment.) Kansas can do what it likes but if these voter ID laws are eventually struck down by SCOTUS and Kansas uses it in the presidential election, it will possibly invalidate the votes of everyone in the state.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, she has been facing ethics charges for using public resources for political campaigning (she admits she did it). And she's the one that's been secretly recording private conversations with fellow legislator. So she's not high on my list of ethical people.

tomatogrower 6 years, 4 months ago

Whew. We are finally going to stop the election fraud. Bye,bye Kobach and Brownback.

Katara 6 years, 4 months ago

Proof of citizenship & photo ID did absolutely nothing to stop this fellow from committing voter fraud.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 4 months ago

Amazing, isn't it. The Secretary of State committed voter fraud so he could fraudulently continue to get paid by his old job...and we've got people worried about voter fraud by "illegal aliens"???

William Weissbeck 6 years, 4 months ago

In a democracy the goal should be to have and encourage full voter participation and to reduce the barriers to voting. Personal responsibility is getting up and actually going to vote. This isn't even an attempt to reduce the votes of those few that can't register, but to reduce the votes of those who fear that the "voter police" will find some minor unintended error in their legal registration when they actually do show up to vote. Sadly, we still have in this country (and I'll bet it's really prevalent in Kansas) a certain fear/distrust by certain people that the "man" is out to get them. Sometimes it's just the fear that the police single out some people/groups more than others. In this case, the state is advertising that they have their eyes on certain people/groups.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

The sole purpose of the Republican Party these days is full-out class warfare. This is just one of the fronts of attack.

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