Archive for Monday, January 2, 2012

Voting test

Kansas is preparing to put its new voter ID law to the test.

January 2, 2012


Depending on how much interest there is in a sales tax election in Cimarron, there may be more media people and official “observers” than voters at the city’s single poll location on Jan. 10.

A new Kansas law requires voters to show photo identification at the polls before casting their ballots. Cimarron, a city of 2,200 about 175 miles west of Wichita, has the distinction of holding the first election in the state after the law took effect on Jan. 1.

In the election, Cimarron residents are being asked to decide whether to collect a 1.25 percent sales tax to fund the construction and operating expenses for a new municipal swimming pool. According to Gray County Clerk Bonnie Swartz, a strong turnout for the election would be 40 percent or about 480 voters.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who pushed for the voter ID requirement and a companion law that will require Kansans to prove their citizenship when registering to vote, said last week that the Cimarron vote would be a good test of the new law. He said he and his staff will be monitoring the election to see how many people come to the polls without their IDs and what other problems arise.

Cimarron, with one polling place, seven poll workers and maybe 480 voters may provide a small amount of data about the ID requirement, but that community’s Jan. 10 vote will provide only an inkling of issues that likely will arise across the state in the November 2012 presidential election. Several other local elections are planned in the next two months, including a special election on Feb. 28 in Wichita on subsidies for a hotel project. The Wichita election will perhaps provide a better test of the new ID system, but the predicted 11 percent turnout still is far short of what would be expected in August primaries and the November general election.

Interestingly, one of the main problems Swartz expects at the Cimarron polls is that voters in the small community won’t think IDs are needed “because everybody knows everybody.” The clerk, a Republican, said she doesn’t have a problem with the law but added, “There’s not rampant voter fraud.”

That opinion probably is shared by a majority of Kansans. Everyone wants clean, fair elections in the state, but they doubt that the voter fraud problem the new laws are trying to fix really existed in the first place. We don’t want illegal voting in Kansas elections, but we also don’t want to establish barriers that discourage qualified voters from casting their ballots.

The U.S. Justice Department is reviewing voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas to make sure they aren’t being used to suppress certain segments of the vote. The Kansas law isn’t currently under review, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be carefully monitored, especially in early elections.


budman 6 years, 3 months ago

this new law is atrocious, my many minority friends have no idea what ID cards are, let alone can they go through the hassle of the DMV.

This new law raises a small and negligible barrier to voting, and though its a great way to prevent voter fraud, i'm totally against it.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Budman - Really, your many minority friends have no idea what an I.D. card is. Really? But majority friends do? Really?
I have serious doubts to the validity of that statement. I think the chances of that statement really being true are the same as some of the following statements: Many of my minority friends don't know when the election is. Many of my minority friends don't know who is running for what office. Many of my minority friends don't know there are two major political parties in America. Many of my minority friends don't know how to register to vote. Many of my minority friends don't know where their local polling place is.

Go ahead, call BS on all my statements, Because they are BS. As is your statement that minorities have no idea what an I.D. card is. BS, budman.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

"my many minority friends have no idea what ID cards are"

Maybe if you tell your friends what an ID is they can buy some beer. You'll be a hero like Johnny Appleseed or Shaq!!

KS 6 years, 3 months ago

I guess those folks have never cashed a check or gone to see a doctor! Just a few things in life that require and ID, including a drivers license. I some how have a hard time believing that these folks do not know what an ID card is. I guess from your comment, they just drive a car without a license. Maybe even without insurance. Humm?

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 3 months ago

"Rampant voter fraud" does not exist. Wake up folks.This is an effort to stop the youth vote. You know, the folks between 21 and 30 that voted 71% for Obama? This means the college kids either vote at home or not at all.A lot of states have completely killed "absentee" voting.Unless Cimarron has a college, this is NOT a good test and proves nothing.

KS 6 years, 3 months ago

I'll bet they have a college photo ID!

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Actually, I believe that college students can register to vote in the town they attend college in, but of course have to give up the right to vote in their hometown then.

And, I'm not aware of any places that have outlawed mail-in ballots.

budman 6 years, 3 months ago

Wake Up People!!!

I agree, my many youth friends also are unaware what a drivers license is as very few of them drive their own car.

kernal 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh, puhleese!

The only way your comments would make sense is if you live in a country other then the United States of America.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

No offense, Budman, but you're hanging around the wrong crowd.

KS 6 years, 3 months ago

They drive their father's Oldsmobile! Well, maybe his Chevy, or in the case of the JoCo kids, maybe his BMW.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

Tinfoil hats can provide excellent protection from micro-meterorites, as well. They should be required garb.

mloburgio 6 years, 3 months ago

Fraudulent vote Kobach can't see forest for the trees in hunt to stamp out voter fraud

Funny how Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is worried about voter fraud if the U.S. has some kind of national popular vote for its president but doesn't regard it as fraud when someone who falls short of a majority of the popular vote is nonetheless elected to the presidency.

Kobach and five other Republican secretaries of state earlier this month joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in warning against the national popular vote movement. This is an effort by states to agree to pledge all their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationally, even if another candidate wins the majority in their states.

It is an effort to avoid what happened in 2000 and three times before when one candidate won the majority of the popular vote but another won the election by virtue of the Electoral College, the notorious middle man in American democracy that apportions electors by state who then formally elect the president

Eight states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation agreeing to the so-called national popular vote initiative, pledging their 132 electoral votes to the popular vote winner. To take effect, states with a total of at least 270 electoral votes must legislate it.

McConnell said the national popular vote movement is "getting dangerously close to achieving their goal of eliminating the Electoral College without actually amending the Constitution - without anybody even noticing, unfortunately, what they're up to."

Well the solution to that is for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment. This is being done state-by-state only in absence of Congress acting and the fear that 2000 could repeat itself. It could be President Barack Obama winning re-election in 2012 with a majority of electors but not a majority of the popular vote.

Next best to a constitutional amendment would be for states to eliminate their winner-take-all elector systems. That would make it much less likely for the national electoral and popular votes to disagree.

Meanwhile, Kansas' Kobach continues his crusade against voter fraud, even though he can provide little evidence that it ever has been widespread in Kansas and certainly never enough to influence the outcome of an election.

Call us crazy, but it seems clearly fraudulent to put a person in the presidency who wasn't the choice of a majority of American voters.

By John D. Montgomery/Hutchinson News editorial board

KS 6 years, 3 months ago

Call us crazy, but it seems clearly fraudulent to do away with the Electoral College. If you did, California and New York would decide the elections and the rest of us can just stay home.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

That is a problem.

But, requiring states to assign their electors proportionally with the popular vote in that state wouldn't have that problem, and would make more sense to me than "winner take all".

That way, we'd still have the effect of equalizing states that's intended by the ec, but also more of an accurate read of the popular vote.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

States elect the president. They only need spell out how they make their choice in their state constitution. If I had a state, I choose electors using a roulette wheel with pictures of the candidates dressed up in prison uniforms instead of red and black spaces. If the candidate refused to have his picture taken in a prison uniform, he or she would be off the ballot.

lunacydetector 6 years, 3 months ago

so when i go buy a pack of smokes then get me my daily 12 pack of pabst blue ribbon and the clerks ask me for i.d. i should play dumb and not understand what is this driver's license they speak of, or scream they are suppressing my right to purchase alcohol and nicotine?

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Purchasing alcohol and nicotine isn't a right. Should you have to show your ID to use your right to free speech? Also, since it can't be enforced for people using mail-in ballots, it isn't universally enforced. You may agree with it, but it is a limitation on your rights.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

You still have to show ID to register to vote, just as you have to show ID to purchase a gun. Do you need to show an ID every time you carry? Every time you go to the range or go hunting? Someone has shown their ID in order to register to vote. Must they also show ID every time they practice their right to vote? I see the registration process to vote similar to the purchase process of guns.

No "doh" about it.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

It depends on what state you live in. In Arizona, for example, you don't even need a conceal and carry permit to carry.

You would need to ask the Obama administration about your other concern. I certainly can't answer for them.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

"Purchasing alcohol and nicotine isn't a right"

nor is voting

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

There is an incentive to buying alcohol and nicotine, especially if you're an addict. There is pretty much no incentive to fraudulently voting.

In other words, your analogy fails.

budman 6 years, 3 months ago

you've been buying too much alcohol and nicotine.

If there's no incentive to commit voter fraud then how come people do it.

Plus I saw Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck registered to vote and I'm pretty sure they passed away a long time ago.

kernal 6 years, 3 months ago

Where and when did you see Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck registered to vote?

Getaroom 6 years, 3 months ago

Better yet, get the Blackhawks back from their hog tie of the evil 12 in Iowa and put the "see through buildings" technology in action out West. Anyone left in a home during polling hours, not having white skin, but who is smoking and drinking PBR will be arrested for personal space pollution and dereliction of voter duties and of course - no ID! When those (phantom) thousands of Illegal sweatshop meat packers are bussed from out of state to stuff ballot boxes in favor of Liberals, force them to show ID and if they can't, send them back to work or else you won't have steaks and chickens on your tables for your poor starving family to eat. Not to mention your roads and roofs that will fall into disrepair. It has been proven that the failure rate for luncaydetectors is quite high during self scanning and invalidates the warranty. But it is obvious that the self destruction potential of the human owners is quite high anyway even without scanning. But you know it is their GOD given right to as many PBR's and smokes as they like. What, NO Insurance?

overthemoon 6 years, 3 months ago

W R O N G!!! Acorn did not, ever, engage in "widespread voter fraud". That is a lie perpetuated by the lie machine based on zero evidence. They did submit false signatures that had been collected as is required by law. Those signatures, Mickey Mouse, et. al., were few and culled from the lists. And Mickey never showed up to vote anyway. And Obama had very little to do with Acorn, other than working at a law firm that represented Acorn on occasion.

We have plenty of real issues to deal with, lets stop with pushing irrelevant lies.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Do you have any comparable statistics about percentages of minority/poor voters who don't get to vote as a result of these sorts of ID requirements?

budman 6 years, 3 months ago

I saw Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck registered to vote and I'm pretty sure they passed away a long time ago.

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

Poll workers should provide photo identification for any voter who ask for it. They could all be frauds.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

This law is one step closer to all citizens being inserted with microchips so the government can confirm who and where you are every second of every day. It is one step closer to making 1984 a reality.

Also, avoid the soylent green when possible.

budman 6 years, 3 months ago

I know, I feel like a prisoner in this country when I have to get an Drivers License to drive, or my bank card when I want to bank, or my credit card when I want to buy. Know I have to show ID Once every four years when voting. This is atrocious. We've become slaves to plastic cards

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Tattoos go against some religious practices and they don't hold up with age. They tend to get blurry over the years (which will be a big surprise for a lot of people some day). Also, they can easily be altered -- thicken a line or two here and there and suddenly my barcode says I'm Michelle Bachmann. Too easily tampered with. The price of chips has fallen significantly over the last few years. It is the only way to go.

camper 6 years, 3 months ago

There is almost no incentive for anyone to commit voter fraud. So why would anyone do it, considering the penalty? If there were a threat to poll integrity, it would come from the staff who count the votes and or politicians (ie via ballot box stuffing). This initiative is misguided and is in place to prevent an imaginary problem. It is more about putting up a roadblock to make it harder for some to vote. It is also a smokescreen by politicians to distract us from real problems, by playing on our fears and make us think we are getting something accomplished by doing this. This is all phoney.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

"...imaginary problem..."? The jury that convicted Lessadolla Sowers, former NAACP official, didn't think she committed an imaginary crime.! Who thinks she was the only person on the sinister side of the aisle to do that?

Bradley Kemp 6 years, 3 months ago

I, for one, will rest easier knowing that this issue will be decided by the real voters of Cimarron, rather than a bunch of illegals trucked in by the swimming-pool special interests.

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

He whines and cries just like him, too. Can dish it out, can't take it at all.

This is all just coincidence, of course.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Forum rules also strictly prohibit coming back under a new name after being banned. Just saying.

camper 6 years, 3 months ago

Not sure about anyone else, but if I were an illegal. I'd be tryin my best to blend in. Not sure going to a voting booth would be the best idea. Just sayin.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

Voter Fraud begins here and with computerized voting devices!!!


A year from now, Americans will be caught in an unprecedented blizzard of campaign ads.

Most of this ad blizzard will not come from the candidates, but from ads secretly-funded by huge corporations.

This is because a five-man cabal on the Supreme Court issued an edict that perverts nature itself. In a case titled Citizens United, the five decreed that – shazam! – lifeless corporate elites are henceforth "persons" with more electioneering rights than us real life persons. In a black-robed coup against our democracy, the Supremes ruled that a corporation's money is "speech" and that CEOs may dump unlimited sums of it into their own ad campaigns to elect or defeat any candidates they choose.

Of course, it's a grotesque, Kafkaesque lie to say that Wal-Mart, Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, and the rest are people with political rights equal to – much less superior to – human beings. As a friend of mine puts it: "A corporation is not a person until Texas executes one!"

The good news is that real citizens of our country are united against Citizens United. In a January Hart Research poll, 87 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Independents, and even 68 percent of Republicans favor passing a Constitutional amendment to overule the Court's bizarre decision and make clear that only people are people.

Sadly (though not surprisingly) our national elected officials – including Republicans, Democrats and tea partiers – are too hooked on corporate money to stand up for us... for America's democracy. So, do we just have to surrender to the corporados? Of course not – we're Americans!

Rebel! A new "We the People Campaign" is rallying grassroots folks to sign a "Declaration of Independence From Corporate Power." To sign the declaration and join the action, go to

"The Hightower Lowdown,", October 2011.

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