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Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Report criticizes voter ID law in Kansas, other states

July 18, 2012

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— Thousands of eligible voters in Kansas may be denied their right to vote because of the law that requires a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot, according to a report released Wednesday.

"Let’s be clear: Election integrity is vital. The problem is not requiring voter ID, per se — the problem is requiring ID that many voters simply do not have," said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

"Study after study confirms that one in 10 eligible voters lack these specific government documents," Waldman said.

The study said hundreds of thousands of voters in 10 states with "unprecedented restrictive voter ID laws" will have trouble getting the IDs because they don't have access to a vehicle and live more than 10 miles from the nearest state ID-issuing office that is open more than two days a week.

"Federal courts have previously declared that states with restrictive voter ID laws must make the necessary paperwork available for free. Problem solved? Hardly," said Waldman.

He said, "This report conclusively demonstrates that this promise of free voter ID is a mirage. In the real world, poor voters find shuttered offices, long drives without cars, and with spotty or no bus service, and sometimes prohibitive costs. For these Americans, the promise of our democracy is tangibly distant. It can be measured in miles."

In Kansas, a registered voter who doesn't have a photo ID can get a free non-driver ID card from the Division of Motor Vehicles if they have proof of identity and residence. Those who lack proof of identity but were born in Kansas may apply for a free birth certificate.

But the Brennan report states that in downtown Wichita there is only one office to serve 160,700 eligible voters, which is eight times times the customer base of the average office statewide.

That produces long lines and waits to obtain free identification required for voting, the report stated.

In addition, 7,373 voting-age Kansans have no vehicle and live more than 10 miles away from offices where they can get state-issued IDs.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, pushed for passage of voter ID, saying it was needed to prevent voter fraud and illegal immigrants from voting.

The new report came out on the same day that a judge in Wisconsin declared that state's voter ID law unconstitutional.

Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan ruled that state’s requirement that all voters show photo ID at the polls creates a “substantial impairment of the right to vote” guaranteed by the state Constitution, The Associated Press reported.

Wisconsin voters who do not have a driver’s license or other photo ID can get one without charge from the state. But Flanagan said that birth certificates are required to get the IDs and voters who don’t have them must pay for them. He said more than 300,000 voters do not have an acceptable form of ID.

“The cost and the difficulty of obtaining documents necessary to apply for a (Division of Motor Vehicles) photo ID is a substantial burden which falls most heavily upon low-income individuals,” he wrote.

Comments

Dan Eyler 1 year, 9 months ago

Someone stated you don't need an ID for utilities. My son just moved into an apartment. He had to fax a copy of his drivers license to the utility before he was turned on. I withdrew money from my savings account this week and had to show my drivers license as proof of identity. I renewed my car tags and had to have my drivers license. At the last public appearance of the president in Chicago everyone who entered had to show proof of identity..hmm. I flew to Denver this past week and had to show my ID before boarding the plane not to mention the body scan I went through. None of those situations are as important as voting, so I like everyone else by now knows very well that if they plan to vote they need to plan now to get that ID. I can just see the news casts on election day of activists loading buses of people who they know don't have ID's and taking them to the polls to vote and they are turned away. They will scream at the TV cameras, saying look they turned away and disenfranchised all of these poor people. Their civil rights are violated. In the past they take anyone and everyone to the polls to vote. Now all they have to do is take the buses to ID locations and fix them up and they will be good to vote. But instead they are simply going to use them to advance their agenda of injustice. So sad.

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Dispersant 1 year, 9 months ago

Two things...This is a poll tax. Plain and simple. It is said that it won't be a poll tax because those who can't afford one will be offered one for free. Well, even if one person is charged it's a tax. It would have to be made available to everyone for free. Even then, it's still a tax. "Why?", you ask. "Who's paying for the 'free' ids?" Taxpayers. You and me. (Why aren't independents and tea party people up in arms about this? Being charged to vote!)

Second...Even if this law is passed you can't expect it to apply to this year's election (just months away). That would be unfair to people. Especially when there's not overwhelming evidence that voter fraud is occurring. Also the fact that we've been able to survive voting without id forever. You have to ask yourself, "What's the rush?" We would have to have a huge education program to let people know you need the id at the polling place. At the earliest it might be feasible in 2016.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 9 months ago

Primary here is next month so where are we talking about??

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pace 1 year, 9 months ago

I went in to try to reconcile my voter registration to my ID, couldn't until after the primary. The guy said to bring both my IDs, my license and my passport, to the voting place and between them they match my voter registration. He said at the worst , my vote might be placed in provisional status, but I would not lose my vote, he said that would NEVER happen, that it was ignorant to think any voters would really have trouble. I suggested he should avoid the word never. Strange, to tell me that my id not matching my registration "would not effect any vote". Never is an unlucky word to use when assuring an "ignorant" person that the new law would not effect anyone's vote.

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ivalueamerica 1 year, 9 months ago

There are no valid excuses for this law.

Voter fraud is miniscule and historically and according to most research, this law will disenfranchise more legitimate voters than it will prevent voter fraud.

Voting is paramount those who feel is is justifiable to disenfranchise many voters to eliminate the fraud from a few voters has failed Citizenship 101.

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profound 1 year, 9 months ago

First I have to show my drivers license to buy cold pills, and now I have to show my drivers license to buy a controlled substance for which I have a doctors prescription. Showing ID to vote is entirely within reason. Be legal or be gone! The City of Olathe is expecting over 10,000 free lunch applications this year.

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cordley 1 year, 9 months ago

Call it a "National ID" and listen to all the righties cry and whine like sick puppies. Then they would be afraid of having to pay taxes.

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distant_voice 1 year, 9 months ago

It's understandable why someone from New York would make a report like this. They've been letting the dead vote in New York and Chicago for the past 150 years. And how unfair that we haven't allowed Missourians to vote (multiple times of course) in Kansas since the Civil War. Of course we shouldn't make people prove who they are to vote. We should let them vote 7 or 8 times. We should let dead people vote too. We should let Mexicans, Canadians, Japanese, Botswanians, Russians, French, and Koreans vote as well. After all, it's a free country isn't it? If you can hold a pencil or a stylus, you can vote. If you can't, there will always be some able-bodied liberal showing you where to make your "X". I mean, we should all realize how stupid it is for people to prove who they are when they vote; how would the Democrats get any votes if they did?

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distant_voice 1 year, 9 months ago

Of course we shouldn't make people prove who they are to vote. We should let them vote 7 or 8 times. We should let dead people vote too. We should let Mexicans, Canadians, Japanese, Botswanians, Russians, French, nd Koreans vote as well. After all, it's a free country isn't it? If you can hold a pencil or a stylus, you can vote. If you can't, there will always be some able-bodied liberal showing you where to make your "X". I mean, we should all realize how stupid it is for people to prove who they are when they vote; how would the Democrats get any votes if they did?

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George Lippencott 1 year, 9 months ago

Just exactly why is it so difficult for us to ask a potential voter to once in their lifetime obtain a form of identification to use when we really need to know who you really are? We look for ID to travel, to cash checks, to drive cars, to obtain medical care and for a number of other functions. People seem to be able to negotiate the arguably difficult task of obtaining a picture ID for these purposes. Perhaps it would behoove our lawgivers to consolidate all the requirements for such an ID so as to minimize the complexity of obtaining a picture ID. Many other nations have a national ID card. Maybe it is time we join that group.

As to the need for a voter ID, how do we know one way or the other? My experience supported by some level of fact checking suggests we have no way of knowing if there is voter fraud unless the number of votes cast exceeds the voting population of a particular local. We have had acknowledgement in these pages that different counties do not have an organized way to verify if people are voting in more than one local. States seem to have the same problem. There are other forms of fraud that are also unlikely to be detected except by accident or voter stupidity. If you have no way to detect a particular problem then you certainly have no way to quantify it.

Frankly, it would seem to me that if all the people complaining about this requirement were to offer their services to assist those without ID, no one would be inconvenienced in obtaining the necessary credential.

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Patriot2 1 year, 9 months ago

Put a DMV next to the welfare office and give away free cheese with every ID. Problem solved!

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pilch 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh BS, this is all just a tempest in a teacup.

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LeBo 1 year, 9 months ago

Think of all the elder blacks that were born in America as property without a birth certificate. This is an angle not thought of.

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juma 1 year, 9 months ago

I have lived and worked in over 15 countries; ALL of them require a valid ID to vote. By the way, the great "demokracy" of Israel requires photo ID to vote and we the American taxpayer keep that country in existence. So, all you liberals shouting NO to valid ID, then let us force Israel to do the same.

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 9 months ago

To prove how stupid this argument is I would like to know if anyone on this board does not have any i.d.? No lying please.

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John McCoy 1 year, 9 months ago

My mother was 90, had voted in every election since she was 21, but had not had a picture ID for years. She lived in an assisted-living center, was blind but politically astute, and would not have been able to vote in Kansas. She would not have been a direct target of Kobach's law because she was white; nonetheless, the law would have kept her from voting. Bad law.

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beatrice 1 year, 9 months ago

How will people who mail in their ballots be showing their IDs?

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beatrice 1 year, 9 months ago

There has been no evidence to support the claims that non-citizens have been attempting to vote illegally. This means that these laws in various states requiring an ID in order to vote is about voter suppression, pure and simple.

To anyone who supports this law, I hope you don't lose your wallet on election day.

(I don't have proof, but I suspect far more people will lose their wallets or have their wallets stolen each election day than people will attempt to vote illegally.)

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago

The face palming, head desking and SMHing may commence.

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pace 1 year, 9 months ago

These Gops are the same band of thugs that are terrified the senate will pass a law that would force the iding and name the donors of super pacs and super ads.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago

Given that the states that require voter ID are bound by the feds to provide that ID for free, I'm curious to know if this means they also have to provide the financial assistance to get the supporting documentation to GET the ID. Birth certificates and marriage certificates cost and if you were born or married in a state other than the one issuing the ID that fee is not waivable. Or you can just live in Mississippi where, to get a photo ID, you have to HAVE a photo ID.

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beatrice 1 year, 9 months ago

This is Amerika -- SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS!

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clarkentsman 1 year, 9 months ago

How about once every two years.

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clarkentsman 1 year, 9 months ago

If this is correct - The study said hundreds of thousands of voters in 10 states with "unprecedented restrictive voter ID laws" will have trouble getting the IDs because they don't have access to a vehicle and live more than 10 miles from the nearest state ID-issuing office that is open more than two days a week. - then how are they going to make it to a voting booth that is only open once every four years?

btw - Nationwide in 2010, 58 percent of voters 65 and over voted Republican while 40 percent voted Democratic.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 9 months ago

Idon't think there is any intelligent perso tjat does not recognize the planned assault on voter rights by the republican terrorist party in the United States. And the tip of the arrow in this on going war on voters is right here in fly-over Kansas. The tea bagger dolts recognize that their party has no clue how to run the country and choose to attempt to deny voters who may well actually vote for the Democratic candidates. It has always been a foundation that we ciitizens have the right to vote for our leaders, but this simply cannot be stomached by the republican terrorist facists that are making an end run around the priviliges of those who do not agree with their "my way or the highway" approach to obstructing the function of lawfully elected government. Kansas should be proud of electing these facist dolts.

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CheneyHawk 1 year, 9 months ago

If you want to hide your identity, form a super PAC and contribute...

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 9 months ago

The idea of an adult having no i.d. is absurd. You need i.d. to drive, buy alcohol, buy cigs, see a doctor, check into a hospital, rent anything from a movies to an apartment, open a checking account, etc. If you have no i.d., your 15 years old or younger or live completely off the grid with no desire to vote anyway. This is another stupid attempt to divert both parties from actually arguing important topics like the economy.

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attorney1776 1 year, 9 months ago

Mr. Rothschild. You conveniently left out the most important statistic in your article.

The Brennan Center for Justice is a left-leaning, out of the mainstream public policy institute. The organization is currently headed by Michael Waldman, former Director of Speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995–1999.

The major philosophy of the center is the "living constitution" theory whereby the constitution can, and should be, adjusted, re-interpreted, twisted around to supposedly match your political agenda.

"The Brennan Center for Justice was founded in 1995 by the family and former law clerks of Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan. Justice Brennan’s idea of a living constitution figures largely into the center’s work. The Brennan Center is involved in issues such as voting rights, redistricting reform, campaign finance reform, and presidential power in the fight against terrorism. The organization is part think tank, part public interest law firm, and part advocacy group."

The idea of a "living constitutation" is rejected by most legal scholars on both side of the political spectrum.

No matter what your opinion of voter ID laws, fair news reporting would seem to require that you mention this important information about the study's authors.

Leaving this background information out, makes your article biased and mostly propaganda.

2

geekin_topekan 1 year, 9 months ago

"You need identification whenever you want to fly, drive, go overseas or cash a check." True, you also need photo ID to open a bank account, sign up for welfare beit food stamps or farm subsidies, see the doctor and get married.

Privileges, all of these, not rights.

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lunacydetector 1 year, 9 months ago

the article fails to mention that the Brennan Center for Justice is funded by george soros.

why is that mr. rothschild? you have a habit of failing to report who these studies are financed by.

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pace 1 year, 9 months ago

My voter registration name is slightly different than my driving license name. If I don't fix it, I would miss my chance to vote. Wish me luck. First, told that I must go to court to change the name on the driver's license to match. Second, my voter registration name is slightly different than my name on my pass port. Was told the pass port name adjustment would take a year. I have voted in the same place for decades. The Driver license guy changed my middle name initial and used my maiden name initial, when I said, no. He said, "Oh change it back next time" turns out he was wrong. My cost, his arrogance. You guys are willing for people to lose their vote, because of your fear, you guys would let this country go because you live in your fear. The teas cry fear, live in fear, and preach fear. Shame.

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Liberal 1 year, 9 months ago

Does not seem to difficult to me...If they can get a ride to the polls then they can get a ride to the DMV.

Importance of ID Cards You need identification whenever you want to fly, drive, go overseas or cash a check. If you're a Kansas resident and do not have a driver's license, you can obtain a state-issued identification card.

Applying for an ID Card Just as in obtaining a driver's license, you'll need to visit a driver's license exam station. All stations are closed on Mondays. You can apply at any station, regardless of where in Kansas you reside.

To obtain a state ID you'll need to present two proof of identity documents. The fee is $14 plus a $8 photo fee ($22 total). For seniors 65 and older, the fee is $10 plus the $8 photo fee.

THE REAL TRUTH IS THEY WANT UNDOCUMENTED VOTERS....Don't say it ain't true because you own arguments prove it.

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Robert Burnham 1 year, 9 months ago

You have to have identification for everything, why wouldn't you require every citizen to present one to vote? I don't get it...why wouldn't ALL Americans require it.

I have to have one to use my credit card, get a drivers license, get on an airplane, and even to get on the military base I work on...

You get to vote in this country if you are an American citizen...period! What's the issue???

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 9 months ago

The Democrats seem to believe that without massive voter fraud, they're toast.

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Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 9 months ago

I wonder how it feels to be a (poor, black, Hispanic, elderly, etc.) citizen and constantly be told that you are too (poor, stupid, ignorant, incapable, etc.) to get a state issued picture ID. Those of you doing this need to stop. You are behaving as demeaning bullies.

If it is true "that one in 10 eligible voters lack these specific government documents," then, at least one of the other 9 should be compassionate enough to assist your relative or neighbor in getting their ID.

Personally, I have never met anyone over the age of 12 that did not have some form of photo identification. Moreover, I have helped dozens of youths get their ID or Driver's License; it's not that hard.

3

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 9 months ago

Remember the deployed soldiers did not get to vote last time. There are huge problems with the system at the root level.

1

pace 1 year, 9 months ago

Gloating that KS law will lose many person's ability to vote, is a slap in the face of all those who died to protect our rights. shame.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

Come to think of it, you need a photo ID to sign up for welfare, food stamps, cash-for-clunkers, section 8 housing, government student loans and grants, disability payments, MEDICADE, school lunch programs, unemployment insurance, or any one of the 70+ government welfare programs operated by over 13 different government agencies.

Yes and if the 'disenfranchised' can't vote, there wouldn't be these 'hand-outs' for them to need an ID to receive. Chicken or the egg?

Sounds like a 'win-win' to me.

All of this bs started on April 26, 1920.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Paperless electronic voting on touch screen machines does not provide confidence to ensure votes are counted the way voters intend.

The software on which votes are counted is protected as a corporate trade secret, and the software is so complex that if malicious code was embedded, no analysis could discover it. Further, because there is no voter verified paper record, it is not possible to audit the electronic vote for accuracy, nor is it possible to conduct an independent recount. This is a grotesquely designed, over-complicated, expensive system fraught with the potential for mistakes and undetected fraud. We should not trust the future of our nation to such malleable technology.

On July 23, 2003, the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute reviewed the electronic voting system in Maryland and found that it had security far below even the most minimal security standards.

In the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2004, four top computer scientists from the University of California, Johns Hopkins University, and Rice University similarly critiqued Diebold’s voting system:

"We found significant security flaws: voters can trivially cast multiple ballots with no built-in traceability, administrative functions can be performed by regular voters, and the threats posed by insiders such as poll workers, software developers, and janitors is even greater. Based on our analysis of the development environment, including change logs and comments, we believe that an appropriate level of programming discipline for a project such as this was not maintained. In fact, there appears to have been little quality control in the process.

Computers are inherently subject to programming error, equipment malfunction, and malicious tampering. If we are to ensure fair and honest elections, and retain voter confidence in our democratic process, we need to ensure that there are no such questions. Therefore, it is crucial that any computerized voting system provide a voter-verifiable paper audit trail and that random audits of electronic votes be conducted on Election Day. Paperless electronic voting machines make it impossible to safeguard the integrity of our vote - thereby threatening the very foundation of our democracy.

Moreover, the seller of the machines, the Diebold Corporation, is a supplier of money to one of the major party candidates, George W. Bush. The CEO and top officers of Diebold are major contributors to the Bush campaign. A corporation with vested political interests should not have control over the votes of the populace.

Voters using Diebold machines should immediately report any suspected malfunctions or deficiencies at voting precincts to their Board of Elections. Voters should also urge their legislators to require a voter verified paper ballot trail for random audits and independent recounts. Count every vote!

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

The bottom line is there is no need for special ID. None. Zero. Special voter ID will not stop fraud if that is the intent of the voter. How would anyone know? They won't.

If repubs would put as much interest in job creation as they are in Voter ID that we don't need life in Kansas would be much happier. Instead the governor put a few hundred out of work which does what for economic growth?

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tbaker 1 year, 9 months ago

In 2007, Georgia enacted a voter ID law. In the 2008 election, the minority turn-out set an all-time record. Indiana is another similar example, so whose vote was being suppressed by the voter ID laws in these states?

People say these laws are designed to disenfranchise blacks and other minorities, the poor, students and senior citizens, etc, but to do so this must be based on the assumption that these groups of people lacking the resources or the ability to obtain a photo ID for voting purposes. Really? Where is the evidence of this?

If you follow this logic, then these groups of people must also lack the ability to get a driver’s license, a credit or debit card, a beer or a pack of cigarettes. Come to think of it, you need a photo ID to sign up for welfare, food stamps, cash-for-clunkers, section 8 housing, government student loans and grants, disability payments, MEDICADE, school lunch programs, unemployment insurance, or any one of the 70+ government welfare programs operated by over 13 different government agencies. Where is the hue and cry from the great disenfranchised masses that are being prevented from getting all the aforementioned things you need a photo ID for?

There isn't one is the answer. Protecting the sanctity of the election process is more important than inconveniencing a tiny fraction of potential voters on the fringe of society who - for whatever reason - cannot seem to navigate the impenetrable mysteries of daily life to the extent they can get themselves a photo ID. Since we cannot impose a much-needed IQ test for voters, this is as good a proxy as there is.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 9 months ago

You should not bash the Republicans, they have a harder time getting an ID than the moochers. You see, they generally have jobs!

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jimincountry 1 year, 9 months ago

Voter ID is an obstacle in the road for the lib democrat precinct bosses herding their sheeple to the polls.

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thtb 1 year, 9 months ago

Why is it that Kochbach and his kronnies want to keep Americans from voting?

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

April 26 1920 is when the country started going down hill. The fewer "92-year-old old ladies, who were born and raised here, and have voted in every one of the last 18 presidential elections" the better.

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msezdsit 1 year, 9 months ago

"If you are not smart enough to get a government photo ID, then you are not smart enough to vote!" blurts chalk 77

Well, unfortunately, chalk, it won't keep all the idiots from voting

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budtugly 1 year, 9 months ago

Heh heh Bunnyhawk that is funny....present there penises...no actually they just want people to prove they are legitimate citizens of this country. And guess what I voted for Obama!

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 9 months ago

If you are not smart enough to get a government photo ID, then you are not smart enough to vote!

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bunnyhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

And you won't find any white, male Republican voters in the 1 out of 10 citizens who won't be able to vote. That is Kobach's plan.

His next strategy will be no doubt be to require that all eligible voters present their penises in order to receive a ballot! That can't be far off with this crew!

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msezdsit 1 year, 9 months ago

"Study after study confirms that one in 10 eligible voters lack these specific government documents," (to acquire a photo ID)

And Kobach considers this a victory. Just as he planned.

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consumer1 1 year, 9 months ago

More liberal whining. Waaa Poor you. Join the world and get an id. yuu have to have one to get a job, buy a car, get utilities, quit thinking you and your ilk deserve special treatment without participating in the world.

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