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Archive for Monday, January 23, 2012

Statehouse Live: Kobach touts voter ID law; Democrats say it will deprive legitimate votes

January 23, 2012

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— Democratic legislators on Monday said the voter ID law that Secretary of State Kris Kobach pushed will deny more votes of legitimate voters than it will catch in fraudulent votes.

"I'd be willing to put a $5 bill on it," said state Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka.

But Kobach, a Republican, said showing a photo ID to vote isn't onerous. He said a photo ID is required in many aspects of everyday life, and he noted that Illinois was considering a law to require a photo ID to purchase Drano.

Mah said voting was a constitutionally protected right unlike purchasing Drano.

The comments came during a discussion before the House Elections Committee.

Kobach, a Republican, successfully pushed for a state law that took effect Jan.1 that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls. The law also requires people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to provide proof of their citizenship. That takes effect in January 2013, but Kobach is pushing to make it effective June 15, in time for this year's primaries and general election.

Kobach told the committee that the first test of the new photo ID requirement went off without a hitch in the Jan. 10 election in Cimarron, where residents in the 2,200 population town in southwest Kansas voted to approve a sales tax increase to build a new swimming pool.

But state Rep. Melody McCray-Miller, D-Wichita, said rural Cimarron was not a good "test case" to address the concerns of groups that say the ID law will suppress the votes of minority, elderly and student voters.

Kobach also told the committee that in his review of the 2010 election, he has found 41 instances of voter fraud which includes people who voted twice and felons who voted. He said all those cases have been referred to local prosecutors, but he added for some reason none of the cases have been charged yet.

He also said that by matching various databases, he has found 32 instances of aliens being registered to vote. He said his office is in the process of trying to remove them from the voter registration lists, but first must contact them to see if a mistake has been made.

In addition, Kobach said his office has about $300,000 in federal funds to start an educational campaign about the new voting requirements. This will include print, radio and television ads, he said.

There are several more elections in the state next month, including a hotel guest tax provision in Wichita.

Comments

Hooligan_016 2 years, 11 months ago

Can't a legislator just step up and reinforce the original implementation date of January 2013? They all voted on the measure and agreed to that time-frame, stick to it.

d_prowess 2 years, 11 months ago

Just to give the numbers some context, KS has a total population of 2,818,747. So those 73 instances of "bad" votes represent .00258% of the population.

madcow 2 years, 11 months ago

Voter fraud is incredibly rare.

All this voter fraud prevention BS is waste of time and resources, and will just lead to wasting tax dollars.

Clara Westphal 2 years, 11 months ago

IF A PERSON REALLY WANTS TO VOTE, THEY CAN FIND A WAY. ADVANCE VOTING IS ONE WAY.

EVERY TIME I GO TO THE BANK OR THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE, I HAVE TO HAVE A PHOTO ID AND MY MEDICAL INSURANCE CARDS. IF YOU ARE A CITIZEN, WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT IT.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

The GOP should just admit that the are using an apparition of voter fraud as an excuse to make it harder for certain segments of the population to vote, segments that usually do not vote republican.

It is a cowardly, dishonest act on the part of Kobach and the GOP.

They can't win based upon the merits of their ideas, so they use fear and straw men.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 11 months ago

I always feel insulted when a politician expects large numbers of voters to be gullible enough to believe their lies.

Kobach is one of the most insulting politicians I can think of.

malehrman 2 years, 11 months ago

I am sad to read that Kobach equates the right to vote with the purchase of Drano.

In all seriousness, it isn't a bad idea to require photo ID at some point in the registration and/or voting process, as long as there are protections for people who cannot afford photo ID (i.e. free photo ID). The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly against use of a poll tax.

That said, if Brownback were serious in getting this law implemented sooner than it January 2013 as passed, he should get Kobach to stop talking about it. Every time Kobach opens his mouth, he makes a less convincing case.

To wit:

Using a case study of a special election in Cimarron, KS (pop. 2200) in which only 464 people actually voted ( http://www.grayco.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=IlXcotr1aRk%3d&tabid=3952&mid=7746 ) and included only 1 instance of a lack of voter ID isn't really representative of anything, other than that election determined that a majority of voters were in favor of adding 1.25% to the local sales tax to finance the construction of a new swimming pool.

Further:

Kobach also told the committee that in his review of the 2010 election, he has found 41 instances of voter fraud which includes people who voted twice and felons who voted. He said all those cases have been referred to local prosecutors, but he added for some reason none of the cases have been charged yet.

As we can see from Kobach's own website (KS Sec. of State - https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kssos.org%2Felections%2F10elec%2F2010GeneralElectionVoterOfficialTurnout.xls), 857,631 people voted in the 2010 general election, slightly less than 50% of the total number of registered voters in the state. Of that number, 41 "instances of voter fraud" occurred (0.005%), though "for some reason" none have been charged yet. Why? Also, how do photo IDs prevent voters from voting twice or prevent felons from voting? I've served as a poll worker in three elections (2006 primary, 2006 general, 2008 general). A photo ID would not have informed me that a voter was a felon or that that person may have voted earlier or somewhere else.

Even more:

He also said that by matching various databases, he has found 32 instances of aliens being registered to vote. He said his office is in the process of trying to remove them from the voter registration lists, but first must contact them to see if a mistake has been made.

So Kobach found 32 instances of aliens being registered to vote, except that he's really only identified 32 possible instances, as he has not yet contacted them to see if a mistake has been made.

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

OK, now, let's think about this. Kobach says somewhat less than .005% of votes were suspect, but haven't been prosecuted. In other words, there apparently hasn't been much illegal found. He says he has $300,000 earmarked for a program of "education", or about what it would have taken to keep the Lawrence SRS office functioning without local intervention. He says he's found 32 instances of aliens registering: in what way has he determined they were illegal aliens? Has he or someone seen them? Have they tried to vote and been caught? Or is the issue here profiling based on the registrant's name? I'd like some answers and explanations about these "egregious crimes" and "criminals" and some reasoning pointing out why these paltry instances, if they indeed exist, are worth the dollars and manpower needed to track them down. This is nothing but make-work for Kobach, who does little to make the state one in which people prosper and much to make the state spend money on worthless snipe hunts. What I want to know is what, exactly, has Kobach done to further the interests of the State of Kansas. His issues are costing the state money it doesn't need to spend (where is the repealer?) and tying up the legislature in petty, political, useless partisanship. Stop it.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 11 months ago

"He also said that by matching various databases, he has found 32 instances of aliens being registered to vote. He said his office is in the process of trying to remove them from the voter registration lists, but first must contact them to see if a mistake has been made."

I think I have figured out why it is so hard to locate these folks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVV6u-Y2XZU&feature=related

First we have to admit they exist and then we need to worry about whether they are after our jobs....or something else.

Jeanne Cunningham 2 years, 11 months ago

So, let me put it this way:

$300,000 / 32 - $9375 each - for cases where there WAS potentially fraud. With NO evidence that those people are even IN Kansas anymore - or, in fact, even living. Sounds like a BARGAIN to me!!! Oh, yah, and that doesn't even include all the time, effort and energy already spent on this entire waste of all of that AND the money, too. Like using a sledgehammer to tap in a thumbtack...

tomatogrower 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't get it. If there is so much voter fraud, how did Kobach get elected? Or is he suggesting that's how he got elected? And I thought he was a conservative. Aren't conservatives suppose to save money? He is spending a lot of tax payers money to get this implemented. Money that could be used to feed poor children.

ivalueamerica 2 years, 11 months ago

All evidence shows that these laws disenfranchise legitimate voters at rates much higher than it prevents any voter fraud.

To balance the priorities to think it is better to keep out a thousand legitimate voters to prevent 1 fraudulent voter is freaking stupid.

Our leaders are failures and traitors to American values.

ivalueamerica 2 years, 11 months ago

so, for argument's sake, let us say you are correct, perhaps someone just goofs up.

Your value system says it is better to keep an American from voting because he or she can not navigate the system.

I am not sure how you value our country and our right to participate, but obviously your values of citizenship and the right to vote are far different than mine.

And frankly, yours are arrogant and fly in the face of any definition of patriotism. How shameful.

pavlovs_dog 2 years, 11 months ago

Kochbach needs something to do until 2016 when he dreams of working for the Brownback/Walker campaign.

Armstrong 2 years, 11 months ago

It's interesting to note "the poor" can produce proof of residency / ID for food stamps but doing the same to vote is so much harder why ?

blindrabbit 2 years, 11 months ago

The first thing Hitler did in 1933 was to institute laws to prevent his enemies from voting against him! Does this seem familiar to something going on in Kansas 79 years later!

tolawdjk 2 years, 11 months ago

Much like gun control laws, this thing will not stop a true criminal.

If I want to commit voter fraud, I will find a way. Nothing in this current law prevents me from signing "affidavits" and voting in umpteen precincts should I want to.

Nothing in here prevents someone commiting fraud via absentee voting.

Nothing has been done to prove that once voter fraud has been found, that it can be successfully prosecuted on any level.

Much like gun control laws, if a criminal wants to commit a crime, they will find a way. However, there is less likelihood of this law being broken as there is less reward for the criminal.

blindrabbit 2 years, 11 months ago

Phoenixman: Boykin is a "onward Christian Soldier" and part of the Neocon world. These military types are so brainwashed by the right winged Christian military that they loose all objectivity.

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