Archive for Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No rush

Rather than rushing into new voter registration laws, the state should take the time to get the system right.

January 24, 2012


If the state had an urgent problem with voter fraud, there would be a reason to rush new regulations on voter registration into effect.

Because there is little evidence of a serious voter fraud problem in the state, it would be better to take our time and get the new system right.

At the urging of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, legislation was approved last year to add two requirements for Kansas voters. The first requirement, that voters show photo identification at the polls, went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year. The second requirement, that voters show proof of citizenship when they register to vote, is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. However, Kobach continues to push legislators to move the implementation of the citizenship provision up so that it takes effect on June 15 of this year, ahead of the August primary and November general election.

Although a number of smaller elections will be held before August, the primary will be the first time election officials in many counties will be enforcing the ID requirement at the polls. It makes sense to let election officials work out the kinks in the voter ID system before adding the requirement for people to show proof of citizenship when registering.

The Revenue Department’s Division of Vehicles currently is working on computer upgrades that will allow it to scan and store documents such as birth certificates and passports that can be used to prove citizenship. Once that system is operational, people will be able to register to vote when they renew their driver’s licenses and local election officials across the state will be able to use the Division of Vehicles’ database to verify citizenship. It was reported earlier this month that the computer upgrade was ahead of schedule and might be available in time to meet Kobach’s preferred June 15 implementation date for the new voter registration requirements.

That’s great, but almost any computer upgrade of this magnitude is bound to have some bugs that must be worked out. Implementing the new voter registration laws before the computer system is running smoothly will be a headache for election officials and perhaps an impediment for would-be voters.

Nationwide, some officials are concerned that new state voting requirements may suppress the vote, which is of particular concern in the 2012 presidential election. The timing of implementing Kansas’ new proof-of-citizenship law shouldn’t be a political issue. On Monday, Kobach reported that a review of the 2010 election revealed 41 cases of suspected voter fraud, none of which has been prosecuted, along with 32 instances in which noncitizens may be mistakenly registered to vote. Those cases should be pursued, but they don’t indicate such a serious problem that the state should rush the implementation of new voting provisions.

Implementing the law on Jan. 1, 2013, will give the state the time it needs to get this right.


overthemoon 6 years, 4 months ago

But Jan 1, 2013 would be too late for the implementation of the GOP voter debacle.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 4 months ago

"If the state had an urgent problem with voter fraud,..." === Good point, sir. This is another 'manufactured crisis' created for political, not civic reasons. Should be interesting to see if the SS gets his way on this one.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 4 months ago

Will my drivers license do the trick?

It seems people have often requested ID when I vote...

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

This is America.

Show me your papers!

Alyosha 6 years, 4 months ago

Nice red herring / straw man, its_just_math.

You throw emotionally charged words around and make baseless accustations instead of dealing with the point of the article.

As such, this comment is shoddy thinking, off topic, and unhelpful. Those interested in sound public policy, truth and ethical behavior are wholly warranted in ignoring you.

When you can actually argue a point morally and ethically, instead of engaging in dishonest argumentation, then we'll give your contributions consideration.

Until then, you're part of the problem.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

It's more up to you to prove they did, if you claim they did.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 4 months ago

-1 Fail. That's like asking, "Can you prove any of the gods exist or don't exist." Nonissue.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 4 months ago

Or, Ohio, where they most likely cooked the voting machines to get W his second term. 300+ Freedom of Information requests are, I believe, still outstanding. It will probably be a generation before we learn the 'truth.' In the meantime, he who owns the software owns the election results.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

As I recall, in the 2000 election, the case came to the Supreme Court after some very strange rulings by the Florida Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered them to review their decision, basically kicking it back to them. It was only after the Florida Court continued in it's odd behavior did the higher court reluctantly take the case. Of course, those who note that the 5-4 decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court complain how Republicans have stacked the deck with conservatives somehow felt very comfortable with the fact that the seven member Florida Supreme Court had all seven members nominated by Democrats (one was a dually nominated by both a Democrat and Republican). Those who complain are just saying that every decision made by a Republican is suspect, therefore, every decision should rightfully be made by a Democrat.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 4 months ago

Not quite. But that's OK.

And both sides complain about "stacking the deck" on the Supreme Court, so complaining about one side doing it without complaining about the other side doing it...well, seems pretty silly to me.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 4 months ago

No, no, no, you just do not understand the problem. Kansas must retain it's hiliarous stastus as the dumbest Republican state in the union. We simply cannot have boters selecting Democrats for office, so there must be some way to eleminate this threat to the facist radical right party in Kansas. We have to keep "liberals" and "mmoderates" home on election day and keep the wing-nuts in office. Do you now understand the situation? Kansas must assure that none of the socialist-communist candidates get elected!!

Seig Heil!!!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 4 months ago

"voters", Status", and "moderates".. Gads do I stttttttuttttter when I get in a hurrrrry!!

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 4 months ago

And you believed that nonsense??? Good grief!!!

"The first step of Marxism is nationalizing major sectors..."folks, that's what the bailouts were" Uh...should we ignore the fact that TARP was signed by President Bush? Should we ignore the fact that the bailout money has been paid back...with almost all recipients?? Nationalized??? Hahahahahahaha. This guy must have slept through that particular class.

Censorship is another of the first steps of Marxism. This guy's argument? Never mind that the MSM is leftist. Yeah. Whatever. His primary argument was that hate crime laws were focused on...are you ready for this? Pastors!!

And, of course, we have "discredit the opposition" which, of course, the right never does. His claim? That Homeland Security send out a "memorandum" that said "future threats were right wing Christians. Pro-life groups...It never mentioned Islamic terrorists".

Well, it was a 10-page assessment report (not a memorandum) which said...gasp..."but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues." Amazingly, this fearless retired general fails to mention that Homeland Security also released an assessment report...over two months EARLIER...about LEFT-wing extremists. Or that this one report he's complaining about was just one of a series of assessment reports. And...yup...Islamic terrorists certainly were covered. Earlier.

Oh...and that "Marxist constabulary force" he warned us about? For crying out loud, he was talking about IRS agents.

I could go on...but, to me...this is the guy who believes that the Holy Spirit actually talks to him. Actually puts words in his head. He does not rank highly on my "reasonable person" list.

Keith 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't believe him, he didn't say anything about purity of essence and our precious bodily fluids.

gudpoynt 6 years, 4 months ago

I do not avoid women, but I do deny them my essence.

tolawdjk 6 years, 4 months ago

I watched it. It brought a few laughs.

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

I think the LJWorld polls are bogus. I'm pretty sure "its just math" is here illegally.

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