Archive for Friday, July 27, 2012

County offers own voter ID system

July 27, 2012


Douglas County will become the first county in the state to create its own system aimed at streamlining the process residents must go through to receive a photo ID needed to meet a new statewide voter identification law.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said his office will start issuing photo voter ID cards on Monday to registered voters who bring in the proper documentation. The local system will allow voters who don’t have proper photo identification to avoid going through the system at the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles. The Douglas County ID card also won’t require voters to produce a birth certificate to receive a photo ID.

Instead, Shew’s office will accept a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or other government documents that show a name or address.

“This is just another way for people who don’t have a photo ID currently to get one so that they can vote,” Shew said.

Shew said he began looking for a system to create the cards after hearing from several operators of nursing homes and other similar facilities. They expressed concern that several of their residents no longer have photo IDs, and a trip to the driver’s license office to get a state-issued ID card may be difficult. Shew’s system will allow employees of the county clerk’s office to issue ID cards at nursing homes and other sites that request the service.

“We’re not trying to say the DMV is unable to do this job, but the recent press about the DMV has increased the number of phone calls we have received from people who are concerned about taking their 80-year-old mother, for example, down to the DMV to wait in line,” Shew said.

Driver’s license offices across the state recently have been plagued by long lines related to problems with the state’s computer system.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has made voter identification a major issue during his tenure in office, saying more scrutiny of voters was needed to ensure illegal immigrants and non-citizens weren’t voting in U.S. elections.

Unlike the state’s photo ID system, the Douglas County system will allow people to get an ID by presenting relatively easy-to-obtain documents, such as a current utility bill. Kobach on Friday said in a statement that he was reviewing the details of the Douglas County system.

“We will continue to work with Douglas County to ensure that photographic identification documents are issued in a responsible manner with the proper verification of identity,” Kobach said.

Shew said he was confident the Douglas County system was adequate because it requires people to produce the same documents needed to prove residency in order to register to vote. Those documents are spelled out in federal law, Shew said.

“It is not like we’ll be standing out on the corner handing out ID cards,” Shew said. Shew also said he is using a printer similar to those used to print employee ID badges. He said the voter ID cards will include some security measures that will make them difficult to counterfeit.

In addition to bringing the proper documentation, there are other requirements that must be met before a Douglas County voter ID card will be issued:

l The applicant can’t already have another valid form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license from Kansas or another state.

l The applicant must already be a registered voter.

Shew noted the Douglas County voter ID cards only will serve as valid identification for voting purposes. People who want an ID that can be used for boarding planes, applying for government programs or other such purposes will need to go through the state system.

Shew said he believes each card will cost his office about 80 cents to produce. State law requires the cards be provided at no cost to voters.

“We don’t know what demand to expect,” Shew said. “It might be five people or it might be 500.”

The county clerk’s office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 11th and Mass. Shew said his office planned to schedule some off-site registration periods prior to the Aug. 7 primary elections.

— City reporter Chad Lawhorn can be reached at 832-6362. Follow him at


Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Need for Voter ID based on voter fraud is fraudulent in and of itself Voter ID is A Fraud

All of this voter ID/voter fraud chit chat is a bogus approach to convince voters that republicans are concerned about voter fraud which cannot be further from the truth.

According to radio news on Thursday voter fraud has been available to the republican party for several years. It is accomplished by way of paperless voting.

According to the news story it has been successful for the republican party because democrats do not pursue the fraud which it seems to me is anti American. Then again so is this nonsense voter ID law. The need for voter ID has been based on fraudulent information that there is voter fraud taking place but it has nothing to do with voter ID and never has.

Voter ID cannot protect the voters from electronic fraud at the computers no matter it voters have a dozen ID's each. Computers are set up to vote wrong in favor of the republican party.

This has been going on for years.

The republicans have dreamed up this scheme for the voting that does not take place on computers. How many ways can republicans keep voters away from the voting booth is the fraudulent objective.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

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.

"…The model where individual vendors write proprietary code to run our elections appears to be unreliable, and if we do not change the process of designing our voting systems, we will have no confidence that our election results will reflect the will of the electorate."

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 the republican party. The CEO and top officers of Diebold are major contributors to republican campaigns. 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!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Hats off to Jamie Shew. Although this is absolute nonsense.

This ID card action is coming from the party that has made owning a home a risky investment. Twice since the 80's this party has wrecked the economy and taken home values down the tubes.

This country cannot afford this new Wreckanomics party created by rightwing radicals.

These radicals successfully took over the repub party in a coup that essentially removed sane fiscally conservatives/socially responsible republicans from the party.

The party is run by the likes of Karl Rove,Grover Norquist,Sam Brownback,Dick Cheney,GW Bush,Jeb Bush,Lynn Jenkins and the late Jerry Falwell. Republicans In Name Only (RINO) completely control the party.

The republican party is dead

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

The banking industry destroyed the housing market,and both parties were culpable for removing the regulations that allowed them to do it.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes, but also people who knowingly bought houses they couldn't possibly afford, and people who foolishly believed that the market would only go up, as well.

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes. Financial advisors have been calling real estate a good investment for years, but any investment is risky, and it's something you have to keep in mind. Yes, there were people who were clearly trying to buy more than they could afford. Sometimes with gambles that rising property values would allow them to refinance a couple years later, and for a long time, they were right.

There will always be people trying to buy more than they can afford. It's the job of the banks to not lend them money instead of sitting down and forging their paperwork right there with them. The banks assume the risk that the person will repay the loan, and the person pays extra money for the privilege of buying something over time. When nobody is ultimately responsible for settling the bad debt, and indeed is sometimes intentionally making debt they know is bad just to feed a financial sector hungry for creative ways to gamble, this is what happens. And yet, the financial sector gets bailed out, and the home owners get sloppy robo-evictions.

Iceland did it the other way around. They let the banks collapse and bailed out the homeowners. I think they chose the wiser path.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

"It's the job of banks to not lend money ..." The problem was that the poor, disproportionately minorities were being adversely affected by the banks behaving in a responsible manner. So advocates for those groups encouraged banks to behave irresponsibly. And when they did, they were criticized. The banks were damned if they did and damned if they didn't.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

The CRA mandated that all loans made under it be consistent with "safe and sound" operations of the banks, in order to prevent that problem.

I don't know of anybody who advocated for banks to make loans that wouldn't be paid back, and thus wind up in foreclosure.

What banks were criticized for was not making loans to "qualified" minority applicants.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

"I don't know of anybody who advocated for loans that wouldn't be paid back, ... ". But they did advocate for loans that didn't get back back. A distinction without a difference.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

No it's not.

There's a huge difference between advocating for unsound loans to unqualified buyers, as you suggested, and not doing that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Sigh-- that argument was stupid the first time it was made. Now it's both stupid and tired.

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

ksfcoach, Not too many old people in nursing homes have ordered anything online. They don't even do their own shopping for the most part. But they still vote. Are you trying to deny them the vote?

pace 5 years, 7 months ago

My mother-in-law and her friend both usually did all their shopping on line after they quit driving and lived in assisted living. But that said, yes the New Republicans are trying to deny or obstruct the votes of many. Shame.

KS 5 years, 7 months ago

I think the county treasurer is going to the nursing homes to set up ID's for them. Bad argument.

Brian Hall 5 years, 7 months ago

Cashing a check isn't a right protected by the Constituion. Buying alcohol isn't a right protected by the Constitution. Buying cigarettes isn't a right protected by the Constitution. Driving a car isn't a right protected by the Constitution. Nearly everything the Republicans compare Voter IDs to is not a protected right so the argument immediately becomes invalid.

KS 5 years, 7 months ago

Try using a credit card out on the road!. I did last week when checking into a motel and, more than once, I was asked for a photo ID to prove the card was mine. Humm? The folks that argue against photo ID probably don't vote anyway. Just what is the big deal? ksfbcoach, I agree about the bitching.

rtwngr 5 years, 7 months ago

I want only voters that meet citizenship criteria to vote. I don't care that there is some inconvenience to assure that. We're inconvenienced every day by a regulation because somebody somewhere scammed the system and somebody else allowed it to happen.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Except that there is virtually no evidence of anyone scamming the system, absolutely no motive for doing so, and no chance that it could go undetected if it were to ever happen in a systematic way (the only way it could influence the outcome of an election.)

John Hamm 5 years, 7 months ago

Then would you be so kind as to explain why the current Administration and DOJ are so dead set against Voter IDs to the point of blocking or attempting to any attempt to implement them and so willing to flood the country will illegal aliens? Call me what you will, and I'm sure you will, but I can see only one justification for these actions - buying or stealing or whatever you wish to call it in your denial the forthcoming election.

overthemoon 5 years, 7 months ago

This administration has deported far more illegal immigrants than have past administrations. What's this 'flooding'??

KS 5 years, 7 months ago

Bozo, if you believe that, you are still on the bus. Get into the real world. Do you work? Just curious.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

I believe actions should be based on an understanding of the facts. You clearly believe otherwise.

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

Then I'm assuming you also want Diebold to have voting machines that can't be hacked.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 7 months ago

Everything is about john q. public scamming the system-welfare, voting, healthcare, etc. I can think of much larger scams like corporate fraud.

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

How many of these older people in nursing homes are trying to vote illegally. Give me a break.

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

This is a brilliant idea. Especially that you're taking it to nursing homes. Thank you, Douglas County.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 7 months ago

So Douglas County steps up and Kobach's response is a veiled threat?

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

Did an end run right around Kris Kobach, didn't he.

I love you, Jamie Shew!

Wonder what nonsense Mr Kobach will come up with to try and squelch this.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 7 months ago

“We will continue to work with Douglas County to ensure that photographic identification documents are issued in a responsible manner with the proper verification of identity,” Kobach said.

What a scam artist...

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 7 months ago

Our country is getting hijacked on all fronts.

LogicMan 5 years, 7 months ago

What's the exact wording of the State law about the forms of photo IDs that are acceptable?

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

The reason that Democrats see voter ID is a threat, is the motive that Republicans have for implementing voter ID. People who are poor often don't have a drivers license. I realize this is unheard of in Kansas, but a lot of people in cities don't own a car or drive at all. They are working class (people on welfare have to have IDs) who take buses and subways, have lived in a community all their lives, so the local store cashes their checks, they don't have credit cards, and they don't ever leave the country. Gasp. In the US. People with no credit cards, who don't drive!

Anyway, the vast majority of these people are black, and the Republicans are certain that they vote for Obama just because he is black, or really half black. And many of these large cities where these people reside are in swing states, so preventing these people from voting will swing the vote towards them.

Why Kansas is worried, I have no idea. If there was any voter fraud going on, then it is on the part of the Republicans. I mean the state is mostly Republicans, so what's the problem. Is Kobach saying he was elected, because of voter fraud? I imagine Kansas has gone this way in order to make the other states look like they are just following along, and not trying to suppress votes. It also distracts voters from other more important issues.

Good job, Mr. Shew. It would be wrong to deny these older Americans the right to vote, just because they are at the end of their life. They are still citizens and have been voting longer than many of us have even been alive.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you Mr. Shew. You are going over and above what is required for your position.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 7 months ago

"They're the ones Obama wants at the polls in November but isn't going to get." Where do you come up with this nonsense? Obama wants someone like my kid sister at the polls. She just recently moved back to Kansas from Wisconsin. She graduated from Pinckney, Central JH, Lawrence HS, and KU, owns a house in Overland Park where her youngest daughter now lives, had a valid Wisconsin drivers license, and a receipt for OP property taxes and house insurance. But, because this is the new Kansas, she had to pay $37 to have her Massachusetts birth certificate sent so she could prove citizenship to get a Kansas drivers license and re-register to vote in the state where she's spent most of her life. Don't pretend this has anything to do with legitimate fears of illegal voters. That is a lie and it doesn't become less of a lie because you keep repeating it. This is willful voter suppression and it is all coming from the Republican party FOR the Republican party.

"Lawyers challenging the Pennsylvania law asked Simpson to note that state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) listed the law as an accomplishment at a meeting of GOP activists. “Voter ID — which is going to allow governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania — done,” he said. "

classclown 5 years, 7 months ago

Again I ask. How will Shrews' office know if the guy showing up with Joe Blows' gas bill is really Joe Blow and not someone else. Frankly, the only thing that gas bill proves is that Joe Blow lives at that address. It offers no proof as to the bearer's identity.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 7 months ago

The same way every other County Clerk's office in the country would know...

"Shew said he was confident the Douglas County system was adequate because it requires people to produce the same documents needed to prove residency in order to register to vote. Those documents are spelled out in federal law"

By the way, I'd like you to answer a question. "How would photo IDs prevent absentee ballot fraud?"

classclown 5 years, 7 months ago


"Note especially where is says, " registered voters...". That means these people are already registered to vote."

I confess I missed that part in the article. Thank you for pointing it out.

However, I find it unfortunate that you then decided to talk out of a different orice with your next sentence. That was very bozo of you.

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

Question: Is anyone really coming out against what Mr Shew is doing?

It seems like this is something everybody should support---that is, if you really don't want to disenfranchise people.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 7 months ago

Ah, the right wing.

They are pro-voter ID, except for when they are against it.

True colors being shown in this thread, that's for sure. Voter ID is only appropriate when it is being controlled by the GOP for the benefit of the GOP. That way, the Kansas right wing can be confident only "appropriate" people are voting.

Rae Hudspeth 5 years, 7 months ago

I received my voter registration card from the county office, and was dismayed to find that it was incorrect and outdated by five years. Despite registering when I last renewed my driver's license, and having been married before the last election, in which I voted, my card incorrectly listed my maiden name. Of course, since my "registration" name on that does not match my photo ID, I was worried that I would be barred from voting. Thankfully, I have printed out the online registration that I filed in time to be able to vote in the primaries.

PigFarmer 5 years, 7 months ago

As usually lawrence liberals tormented souls want to steal elections and ruin the USA. You will get yours someday, that is why you are so hateful.

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