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Archive for Sunday, March 18, 2012

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March 18, 2012

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It’s time for Secretary of State Kris Kobach to accept the Jan. 1, 2013, effective date for a new law that will require Kansans to prove their citizenship when registering to vote.

That’s the date approved by the Kansas Legislature and the governor last year, but Kobach has continued to fight for a bill that would move up implementation of the law to June 15. Last week the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee heard more testimony on the bill but took no action on it. Because the committee isn’t scheduled to meet again in this session, that essentially kills the bill. Kobach argues that the committee could easily reconvene to consider the bill, but its Republican chair says that won’t happen. The bill is dead unless the full Senate, with a supermajority vote, removes the bill from committee and brings it to the floor. Given the concerns senators have about the bill, that’s not likely to happen.

Senators learned last week that a system that would allow the Division of Motor Vehicles to automatically transfer citizenship documentation to election officials will not be ready by June 15, which means it will be more difficult for election officials to verify citizenship. Election officials already have a new voter ID law to implement for the 2012 presidential election, and it makes sense to let them work out the kinks in that process before adding the citizenship requirement for voter registration.

There might be a reason to rush this system into action if there were evidence of significant voter fraud in recent Kansas elections, but that isn’t the case. Kobach should accept the Senate committee action and focus his attention on helping election officials smoothly implement the voter ID law so that it doesn’t cause undue delays at the poll or discourage eligible voters from casting their ballots in upcoming primary and general elections.

Comments

NavyVet 2 years, 1 month ago

"Right now, millions of adult Americans cannot legally fly on an airplane or rent a car. They're not allowed to drive one, either. And if they really need to get somewhere fast, they can't use Amtrak. When they (somehow) get there, they can't stay at a hotel. If they don't have a social security card, they cannot get one without considerable time and effort. In most cases they cannot rent an apartment, take the SAT or enroll in college. They can't buy cigarettes or alcohol, even though they are of legal age. They might be able to get credit cards, but in many instances they will not be able to use them. And they almost certainly won't be able to get a bank account or a business license or even cash a check. ...

And yet the Democratic Party wants to do next to do nothing to fix that. I'm talking, of course, about people without proper identification. ... What astounds me is the almost entirely unremarked-upon complacency of liberals who seem to think it's OK that millions of Americans (by their own reckoning) remain locked out of the modern economy, but who are horrified by the idea that states might actually give these same people new forms of identification -- for free. ... The crisis is not that these people will be asked to prove who they are when they vote. The crisis is that there are ... millions upon millions of Americans who can't prove who they are at all." -- columnist Jonah Goldberg

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Kate Rogge 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Yeoman2, I agree that Kobach is a genuine threat to our liberty and justice. He is an incredibly destructive jerk who rode into office with the Republican conservative flag, but I think he is a fraud and a huckster who is no more a genuine Republican conservative than he is Queen of the May. I remember when traditional Kansas Republican conservative values were fiscally conservative and socially moderate, and I think those conservatives are still the majority in Kansas (very silent, unfortunately, but surely not yet dead). It is, after all, Republican senators who are putting the brakes on Kobach's assault on voters. They see a self-promoting rat as clearly as you and I do. I just don't think he actually believes the bull***t he spouts (unlike, I think, Governor Brownback). I think he's a self-aware huckster riding a hate wave owned by the Koch brothers and ALEC-written legislature.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes. Sunflower, but isn't that a good description for most of the current republican "candidates"??

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Kate Rogge 2 years, 1 month ago

Maybe he's simply a very ambitious man who has manufactured an "issue" he believe he can ride into a greater public position? Kobach is not a man of principle, I think, so much as a man of ambition and a shrewd talent for distortion and political disruption.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 1 month ago

I think anyone with a pulse should see through this republican rebel rouser. His divine devotion to a non-existant problem is nothing but smoke and mirrors to hide his true goal, to keep as many voters who would favor the curren lawfully elected President of the United States from voting in the November election. He is devoted to the facist principals that only those of the extreme right wing should be allowed to vote, much as it was in Germany in the 1930's. Koback is truly a threat to liberth, justice, and the American Way as any facist dictator, such as we see today in Syria. It is incomprehensible that this wingnut managed to get elected. Oh, I forgot, this is Kansas and we must follow the "conservative" flag, Rush has told us so.

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Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 1 month ago

In this election cycle, paranoia is synonymous with conservative Republican. Evil lurks under every rock!

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 1 month ago

"There might be a reason to rush this system into action if there were evidence of significant voter fraud in recent Kansas elections, but that isn’t the case." === Good point, editor. KK has been hunting unicorns all along; this has little to do with clean voting and lots to do with the paranoid streak KK represents. The DNA of the Republicans requires them to stir up fears, always about gods and guns and gays and sometimes about immigrants. Good column.

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