Archive for Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kobach seeks to move up plans for citizenship proof to June 15

January 11, 2012


— The top elections official in Kansas said Tuesday that he'll push for a change in state law to start requiring some potential voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship beginning June 15, six months earlier than expected.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach told The Associated Press that the proposal he'll submit to legislators today would ensure the rule applies to this year's presidential elections. The House Elections Committee was scheduled to meet this morning to consider sponsoring the plan.

Kansas has a proof-of-citizenship requirement for people who register to vote in the state for the first time and for people who re-register in Kansas after living outside the state, but the rule isn't scheduled to take effect until Jan. 1, 2013. Kobach said he wants to move up the effective date so that it will be in place when voter registration begins to surge ahead of the vote for president in November.

Kobach, a Republican, pushed legislators last year to impose requirement, but some legislators were wary of the idea. Kobach is a former University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor who's become nationally known for helping state and local officials draft measures designed to crack down on illegal immigration, and he helped draft tough laws in Alabama and Arizona. He contends a proof-of-citizenship requirement will prevent illegal immigrants from registering to vote, but he sees the rule as part of a broader attempt to combat election fraud.

"We want the protection in place before the spike in registrations," he said.

Kobach said as soon as legislators enacted the proof-of-citizenship requirement that he'd push to have the effective date changed, but he hadn't publicly disclosed his preferred date until Tuesday.

The Kansas law accepts 13 types of documents as proof of citizenship, including a birth certificate or a passport. A driver's license is sufficient if the state issuing it requires proof of citizenship before issuing the license. Kobach noted that if people can't provide any of the specified documents, they still can submit other evidence of their citizenship and appeal to the State Election Board.

Critics of the proof-of-citizenship rule contend it will suppress voter registration, particularly among poor and minority voters. Kobach strong disagrees, saying it hasn't proven true in other states, such as Georgia.

According to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee enacted proof-of-citizenship laws last year, joining Arizona and Georgia.

Kansas also has a law that took effect this year requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Last month, the U.S. Justice Department blocked South Carolina from implementing a photo ID law, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, during a speech in Texas in December, called on political parties to "resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success."

Kansas state Rep. Ann Mah, of Topeka, the ranking Democrat on the House Elections Committee, said Kobach's push to move up the starting date of the state's proof-of-citizenship rule will give federal officials "a good reason to look at Kansas."

"Things are going to be confusing enough for folks," Mah said, noting the photo ID requirement already has taken effect. "Let's get one thing in place at a time."

Mah also said she doubts the state can do an effective job of educating residents about the proof-of-citizenship requirement if it takes effect June 15.

"There's no reason to bring it forward," she said.

But Kobach said his office already has prepared television ads for such a campaign.

Kobach served in the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush, a Republican, and he's criticized the Holder-led Justice Department, under Democratic President Barack Obama, as too political, particularly in handling election fraud and immigration issues.

A year ago, he said the secretary of state's office had received 59 reports of potential election irregularities affecting at least 221 ballots since 1997.

He said Tuesday that his office has an additional 41 cases of fraud from the 2010 election, nearly three-quarters of them involving either felons voting illegally or people casting ballots in two locations. Such cases are being forwarded to local prosecutors, he said.

Kobach argued that such statistics show the state should have its anti-fraud measures in place as quickly as possible. But Mah said problems remain rare and Kobach still can't demonstrate that illegal immigrants voted in 2010 elections.


overthemoon 6 years, 4 months ago

How much are we paying for television ads and other implementation of this charade?

Mike1949 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't mind showing my proof of who I am (drivers license), actually I think it is a good idea. But my wife is Hispanic among other nationalities, and actually her family roots go back to the Indians, That fact means her family is more American born than mine which is Swedish & German. But if she ever has to show her birth certificate after being profiled, we will definitely be talking to attorneys about discrimination of race. Just because they make it a law doesn't make it constitutional!

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

You're playing the same game Kobach is when you say that because your wife can trace her ancestry further back than you can that she's more American. If you are a citizen of this country, then you're an American. it doesn't matter if you became a citizen yesterday or if your family came over on the Mayflower or if you're 100% Native American.
Now if Kobach wants to see her papers because her skin is a little darker and he doesn't want to see your papers because you're "white", then you should scream as loud as you can from the highest mountaintop. And I'll stand beside you screaming just as loud. But if what is being asked is that we all have to show our papers, then it's a minor inconvenience in my opinion. Then I'll show them, vote and go on about my business.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

I can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, yet I still enjoy freedom of speech. I can't sacrifice an animal even if it's part of my religion, yet I still enjoy freedom of religion.
All of our freedoms have had limits placed on them. The question is are they reasonable? But for those who say that any and all limits are unreasonable, well, they lack common sense.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

I thought we were comparing "rights" (voting) to "rights" (speech, religion).
But if you'd like to say the right to vote is an apple and the right of speech is Tuesday, please feel free to make that argument.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

You're injecting physical harm arbitrarily. I was comparing the harm of compromising one of our rights to the harm of compromising a different one of our rights.
Rights and Rights.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

Tell me a "right", any "right", and I'll tell you a limit that's been placed on it. It all gets down to is the limit reasonable.

Abdu Omar 6 years, 4 months ago

This is a blatant attempt to limit the number of people voting. This type of law has never been practiced in the US nor do we, in Kansas, have a significant amout of voter fraud. This is a Republican way of stopping others from voting against their candidate and I am opposed to any voter restrictive law. We need to open our voting so more people will vote not the other way around. We the People should not allow this to become law.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 4 months ago

When I put my hand up and pledged to wear the uniform, included in that was to support the laws and the constitution of the United States. Correct me if I am wrong, but you need to be a verified citizen of the United States and not be a convicted felon to vote. With that in mind, I have no concept of how you can advertise being a wounded soldier and demand respect of the others of us who have served and not support the law. Methinks you should re evaluate your position.

I hope he takes it a couple of steps further and demand proof of legitimate citizenship for all those on welfare, food stamps, un employment, and the rest of the entitlement programs with the full intent of decreasing the tax burdon on those of us who work and actually pay into the system. You see, if you don't pay any taxes like half of the population, then why should you care. You should care because if you are truly deserving of the assistance then those mooching off of the system are taking dollars away from those who really need it.

Frankly my friend, I would be ashamed of your position while at the same time flaunting your service.

blogme 6 years, 4 months ago

Amen Cant_have_it_both_ways! Couldn't agree more with you. When you have voters that don't pay into the system, and only suck off it, you have legalized election fraud where votes are bought. They won't vote for what's best for everyone, only what's best for themselves.

somebodynew 6 years, 4 months ago

He is ONE of my big problems with this:

"He said Tuesday that his office has an additional 41 cases of fraud from the 2010 election, nearly three-quarters of them involving either felons voting illegally or people casting ballots in two locations. Such cases are being forwarded to local prosecutors, he said"

How exactly does showing ID prevent these two problems which make up 2/3 of the report problem?? There is no 'felon list' to cross check so if I show my ID I still get to vote, and who says I can't show my ID at two places ???

And besides, he even says those cases are forwarded to local prosecutors (another thing he would like to change), so where is the problem ??? There isn't one..

overthemoon 6 years, 4 months ago

Oh no!! Stop right there!! You can't go using logic!! That's just too complicated and confusing!!

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 4 months ago

Kobach is what's the matter with Kansas.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

At a number at which it would affect the outcomes of elections.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

So if a Republican wins by 25,000 votes, you'd be O.K. with 24,999 fraudulent votes? How would know with any certainty that the number really is 24,999 and not 25,001?

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

I understand the problem you're referring to.

But, how much of our time, energy and resources should be devoted to preventing 3 fraudulent voters?

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

If 3 votes don't matter, then certainly two won't either. And if two doesn't matter, then certainly one won't matter. And if one vote doesn't matter, then why should I bother voting? Or why should you? Our vote doesn't matter, right.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

Thank you.
And while that may be clever, I still haven't figured out how to change my name on my wife's computer. I'll keep playing with it.

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

What number of people voting twice or voting using fraudulent documents would this new law prevent?

LarryCarl 6 years, 4 months ago

In your sarcasm you end up making an excellent point... Having twice as many police as we need does go along with requiring citizens to carry "papers"... Both are prime examples of typical tactics used by tyrannical governments to better control the citizenry...

Are you for taking away peoples' guns, as well?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

There's also an incentive for robbery-- you get money and/or goods for it.

What's the incentive to illegally vote? That's right-- there is none.

thebigspoon 6 years, 4 months ago

No. What? Especially in the miniscule numbers that Kobach can actually document, not including felons and others who can't be stopped by this law from voting. No matter how you slice, dice and dissect it, this is an emotional non-issue used by the new Repuplican party to divert the few voters who did turn out from the real issues facing the state, issues which the Republican party has no intention of addressing. The Kansas Republican party has hijacked decency and substituted its own brand of morality in the hunt for dissatisfied voters, and has done a creditable job of it. But the same issues remain undiluted by this administration and will so long as we allow them to remain in power.

repaste 6 years, 4 months ago

Risk management - you have to take the likelihood of the event and cross it with the severity of the event. If there was a 25% chance of an action breaking your fingernail vs .0002% chance of an action killing you, which action do you spend millions protecting against? .

geekin_topekan 6 years, 4 months ago

Journalstar .com Jan. 5, 2012 Fremont--The city's attorney, Kris Kobach, said both sides on Tuesday filed summary judgment motions, which would result in a judge ruling in the case before it goes to trial. ++++ Isn't he supposed to be our Attorney General or something?

realisticvoter 6 years, 4 months ago

No time, too busy causing Fremont to raise taxes to defend an un-constitutional law, which by the way he is being well paid to defend.

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

Kobach is supposed to be Kansas' Secretary of State, not AG.

geekin_topekan 6 years, 4 months ago

If jesse's numbers are true, it would be easier to count the number of Republicans who have cheated on their wives and sent inappropriate texts to minors, than it would be to count the number of illegal immigrant votes.

mloburgio 6 years, 4 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.

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

frankwiles 6 years, 4 months ago

Why does the right hate small government? A new law, checks, processes, and staff to handle the 262 possibly bad ballots over the last 15 years? Maybe we should create a special department just to track and monitor people who hit fire hydrants while driving foreign made SUVs, as I would wager it happens as often as the voter fraud. Show me an election that was swung by this minuscule about of fraud and I'll thank this bozo personally.

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

I believe your beloved Fox News attributed Franken's victory to felons voting, not illegal aliens.

Franken won by 312 votes over Coleman. The conservative watchdog group Minnesota Majority claims there were 341 convicted felons that voted in Ramsey & Hennepin counties (the greater Minneapolis/St.Paul area). The article indicates the group alleged there were 460 names matched to felon records in Ramsey county. Ramsey County officials investigated and told the group there were only 52 felons that improperly voted rather than the alleged number. County officials attributed the difference to: "...Minnesota Majority's lack of access to nonpublic information, such as exact birth dates and other court records. For example, he said, "public records might show a felon was given 10 years probation, but internal records the county attorney has might show that the probation period was cut to five and the felon was eligible to vote."

The group also alleged that in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, 899 suspected felons had been matched on the county's voting records, and the review showed 289 voters were conclusively matched to felon records. While Hennepin County officials reportedly did not cooperate with the group, if we apply a similar proportion of verified illegal votes to alleged illegal votes as indicated by the Ramsey officials (~8.46%) whether one uses the 899 vote figure or the 289 "conclusively matched" by the conservative group, the resultant numbers are stlll less than 312 vote margin that afforded Franken the victory. (899 alleged illegal votes x 8.46% = 76.05 + 52 = 128.05 presumably illegal votes, 289 "conclusiviely matched" illegal votes x 8.46% = 24.45 + 52 = 76.45 presumably illegal votes.

Read more:

thebigspoon 6 years, 4 months ago

And every damned one of them probably had an ID that would allow them to vote in Kansas. NEXT.

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

And I'm guessing most if not all of those convicted felons are already US citizens or they likely would be deported. Requiring them to provide proof of their citizenship won't do anything. Their citizenship wasn't revoked-just the right to vote. In addition, they may have been registered to vote prior to conviction. As such, they have to be cross-referenced to be discovered-by county officals that have the appropriate access to necessary data. And as outlined for you above, that still wouldn't have changed the outcome in Minnesota. Not really sure what relevance you see in trying to relate that to Kansas.

Just another non-issue for folks to get all lathered up over. Now, back to the flatware drawer for you. I hear your ladle calling ;-)

frankwiles 6 years, 4 months ago

Unless my math is wrong or we have elections more than once per year we're talking about an average of 17 votes per year in a state of over 2 million residents. If this law isn't example of wasteful government spending, even just Kobach's salary for a few days I don't know what is.

Orwell 6 years, 4 months ago

OK, this is the same lie the FoxFanatics Tell time after time. ACORN reported its own temporary employees for turning in phony voter registration attempts. No one was actually registered through such attempts. There is no evidence, and no documented claim, that a single fraudulent vote was cast anywhere as a result. This compulsive ACORN-bashing has the same factual basis as the Loch Ness Monster.

But, then, if you can't support your anti-voter position with facts, you need to distract us with the old Big Lie tactic.

WilburM 6 years, 4 months ago

+1 Exactly. But hey, these are just facts.

overthemoon 6 years, 4 months ago

There never was 'rampant' voter fraud. Fox News lies. Period. You fell hook line and sinker for the distraction strategy they are famous for. What the GOP and their various handlers and propaganda machines were trying to stop was voting by 'those other people'.

You do know that its been statistically proven that Fox viewers are L E S S informed than people who watch N O news at all??

irvan moore 6 years, 4 months ago

it appears to me the problem is with the legal voters, look who we have elected

overthemoon 6 years, 4 months ago

Good one!! (in kansas, most elections are decided by Fox News viewers. and there you have it!)

JackMcKee 6 years, 4 months ago

What was Kansas thinking when it elected these people? Do Kansans stil think?

JackMcKee 6 years, 4 months ago

whose gonna train the little old ladies that volunteer at the polls to act like bouncers at a bar?

thebigspoon 6 years, 4 months ago

Again, the resort of the uninformed: make stuff up and denigrate someone who is not even a subject of thje discussion. Maybe there is an app for people like you to learn the real issues.

thebigspoon 6 years, 4 months ago

What are you? Incapable of separating fact from fantasy?

Paul R Getto 6 years, 4 months ago

BS: Why should that be a requirement for anyone on the Internet blogs? Takes all the fun out of it.

headdoctor 6 years, 4 months ago

Brownback, Kobach, the President hopefuls on the Republican side, and right wing posters on threads like this remind me of why I am perfectly willing to trash 34 years of voting for a majority of Republicans. I stopped about 3 years ago and if they don't knock off the crazy I will be good with never voting for another one for as long as I live.

JackMcKee 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm in the same boat except I gave up on the GOP 12 years ago.

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

I gave up on citrus fruit 22 years ago.

Getaroom 6 years, 4 months ago

Not even necessary to read the article, the headline says it all. More of the same out of the puppet masters regime.

headdoctor 6 years, 4 months ago

Yup. The GOP is their own worst enemy. I find it hard to swallow that the Republicans have become the poster child of everything bad they use to blame the Democrats for. I found the Neo-cons a real pain but they are nothing like the Neo-Liberals that now populate the Republican and Libertarian Party.

JackMcKee 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm not clear why bringing up the point that these laws are a waste of rescources is a violation of your user agreement. This is in fact one of the most important issues in the debate over these laws. An explanation is requested.

Linda Endicott 6 years, 4 months ago

I can't believe some of the comments on here, as if this unnecessary law is no big IS a big deal, politicians are attempting to take away your freedoms...

And yet we have jhawkinsf stating that having to show his papers is just a "minor inconvenience"...

Really? Maybe that's what they thought when they first started the practice in Nazi Germany years ago...

When you start demanding that your citizens "show their papers", it's a sad, sad day for America...

The land of the free...sure it is...

JackMcKee 6 years, 4 months ago

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

Tonydtiger 6 years, 4 months ago

I now so many hispanic citizens who don't vote. so I don't think ilegals want to vote

verity 6 years, 4 months ago

Illegals want to draw attention to themselves so they will be deported. It's their dream road trip.

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

This is America. Show me your papers!

overthemoon 6 years, 4 months ago

last I checked, Social Security cards do not have photos on them They are not 'Photo ID' nor do they have address, age, etc etc etc.

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

Were you in Russia at the time? You do not need an ID to be a full citizen of the United States. We actually don't live by the rules of showing your papers on demand.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

Even that seems a bit off, don't you think?

Why should we be required to give a police officer our name on command?

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

And why was the police officer inside his house in the first place?

The ID requirement only holds in public places, according to your post.

They can't come into your house without a warrant (if you don't let them in) and demand to see your id, right?

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

Disorderly conduct is often used to justify poor police actions, in my opinion.

It's too broad a term, and needs to be much more narrowly defined.

For example, if a police officer shows up at my house, demanding to enter without a warrant, and I get upset about that, that shouldn't be a chargeable offense, in my view.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

How on earth does making somebody tell them their name dispel suspicion of criminal activity?

Especially since there's no quick and easy way to verify that, without an ID.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

"Matches up" to what?

Any name and matching address will be found, right? So I could just give somebody else's name and address instead of mine.

Most people have a variety of friends and know their names and addresses, I would think.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

For that matter, I could give my correct name and address and still be involved in criminal activity.

blogme 6 years, 4 months ago

How dare you be so honest! LOL! Hit the nail squarely on the head! Great post!

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

You do not have a right to government assistance, but you do have a right to vote.

I think you should have to show your ID to practice your right to freedom of religion. We don't want any non-citizens from praying, do we?

This is America. Show me your papers!

blindrabbit 6 years, 4 months ago

The fantasy that has become Kobach's quest is reminiscent of Don Quixote chasing windmills. Also, isn't Kobach's name of Germanic origin; makes one wonder if there are not some similarities in his quest and the 1933 monkey business in Germany for controlling elections. In 1933 the Bundestag passed the "Law for the Protection of the People and the State" which in-effect limited any opposition to anti-Nazi voting in the German elections. At that time , the law controlled trade unions, socialists, communists any other groups that opposed the facist Nazi party. The similarities of far-right groups in the U.S. and the policies of of 1933 as a means of controlling votes and voters appears to be more than coincidental. What is next "long knives", "book burning" and an Kansas form of "Krystalnacht".

kansanbygrace 6 years, 4 months ago

Silly obsession by a sorry little neurotic. There's work to do, Kris, and this ain't it.

And somehow, we keep following bad with worse, and worse, and worse.

What's the bill on those ads he's already made?

geekin_topekan 6 years, 4 months ago

Kobach's little buddy to the north, Franssen of Nebraska, has failed once more; his voter ID bill was removed from the Nebraska Agenda once again. For those in the dark--Franseen and Kobach are working, as far as I can tell, to make being Mexican a four letter word in Nebraska.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

New Hampshire Secretary of State explains how to illegally vote: "...Secretary of State Gardner said a fraudulent voter could check newspaper obituaries for recently dead people, and then go to a city or town to see if the name is on voting lists. The bogus voter could then go to a polling place and likely get a ballot, he said.."

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