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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

County offers own voter ID system

July 27, 2012

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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 Twitter.com/clawhorn_ljw.

Comments

Bud Fuller 1 year, 8 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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Rae Hudspeth 1 year, 8 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.

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Bob_Keeshan 1 year, 8 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.

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verity 1 year, 8 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.

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Milton Bland 1 year, 8 months ago

There is a reason democrats hate photo id's. Their women are so butt ugly that no one wants to take their pictures! Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi come to mind.

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classclown 1 year, 8 months ago

KansasConscience

"Note especially where is says, "...to 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.

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1 year, 8 months ago

@classclown. Read the article beyond the headline. You evidently missed the second paragraph.

"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. "

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

I realize you're a follower of The Guv, Kobach, Mike Turzai and like ilk, but even you must realize that the voter ID laws are in fact designed for voter suppression. They are not designed to protect the integrity of the election. I would love to see UN observers watch this next election; 5 'll get ya 10 they'll call the election invalid because of voter suppression (or in your words, voter ID).

(Go read the article sunflower-voter posted the link for; out of the GOPs own mouth ...)

Drive on Mr Shew. The integrity of an election is when people are not kept from voting because of fear mongering by The Guv and other Statehouse bullies.

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Kendall Simmons 1 year, 8 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?"

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classclown 1 year, 8 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.

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bigtoe 1 year, 8 months ago

There is no end run taking place. No one gets a DC photo ID who isn't already a registered voter.

How many previously registered voters in DC do you think registered to vote using a utility bill or bank statement? Probably count them on two hands. It's likely that 99.999% percent of previously registered voters in Douglas County registered to vote using a photo ID drivers license.

There is no avoiding the Kobach rules for newly registered voters (Obama "Dream Act" people). They have to jump through all of Kobach's requirements to register and vote in Kansas - birth certificate, etc.

There's a fair amount of lamp post leaners and permanent porch sitters in this town who don't want the government to know where they live or to have a current picture of them on file. It's highly unlikely they're previously registered and they most certainly won't register under the Kobach rules. They're the ones Obama wants at the polls in November but isn't going to get.

I'm OK with this one-time Douglas County program for previously registered voters to get a photo ID.

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Chris Ogle 1 year, 8 months ago

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

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tomatogrower 1 year, 8 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.

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LogicMan 1 year, 8 months ago

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

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Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 8 months ago

"Former Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer testified in a lawsuit filed against his former party that “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” wanted to suppress the black vote through Voter ID and tactics like current state Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to purge voter rolls."

“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,” he testified in the 630-page affidavit that spans two days of deposition...

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/27/former-fl-gop-chair-says-right-wing-crazies-want-to-suppress-black-vote/

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 8 months ago

Our country is getting hijacked on all fronts.

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 8 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...

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verity 1 year, 8 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.

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Bob_Keeshan 1 year, 8 months ago

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

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chootspa 1 year, 8 months ago

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

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rtwngr 1 year, 8 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.

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Charles L Bloss Jr 1 year, 8 months ago

Good idea Jamie! Keep up the good work.

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Timothy Eugene 1 year, 8 months ago

Went to Cabelas yesterday to pick up an Item I had purchased online. Shockingly, they required a photo ID before I could get it. I would venture that voting is more important. You need photo ID to cash a check, buy alcohol, buy cigarettes, etc. etc. People who are against this are frauds. Just bitching for the sake of bitching. Besides, the dead and illegals won't be able to vote anymore. There goes 1/2 the liberal voting bloc......

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 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

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 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!

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 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.

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