Archive for Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kobach wants to outlaw photographing ballots

November 8, 2012


— Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he wants to make it illegal for people to take photographs of completed election ballots.

The Wichita Eagle reports current state law prohibits election workers from taking pictures of ballots but there is no law concerning individuals shooting photos of their own ballots.

The practice has become more widespread because people want to post their ballots on social media sites.

Kobach says social media and photo-altering software have made the issue much more complicated but he plans to introduce legislation in the next session to make such pictures illegal. '

He says in the past, people took pictures of their ballots to prove how they voted in return for payment or favors.


deec 5 years, 6 months ago

I see Kobach is inventing his next faux issue.

"He says in the past, people took pictures of their ballots to prove how they voted in return for payment or favors."

Now, of course, people take photos of their ballots to prove election fraud is happening. I'll bet some party functionaries were furious about all those youtube posts of ballots recording the wrong vote.

chootspa 5 years, 6 months ago

I'd like to see some proof that people took pictures of their ballots as proof of how they voted in any sort of quantity to sway an election, particularly in Kansas. Back when it was harder to forge photos, it would have taken too long to get the photos developed. I suppose you could have done it with Polaroids, but that's still awfully expensive. It's much more efficient to just tamper with the ballot boxes, have an inside person miscount them, or intimidate the opposite side into not showing up at the polls.

My search of Google only turns up people quoting Kobach, so I'd be curious to see if anyone else can find any conspiracies to pay for votes that involved photos - particularly any recent conspiracies now that you could just photoshop the ballot or reproduce someone else's photo. That'd have to be one seriously dumb would-be electioneer.

Matt Needham 5 years, 6 months ago

Good to see him working hard on the real problems facing this state and nation.

Mike1949 5 years, 6 months ago

Why is he still in office? He is a danger to the human race! Stupidity could be catching!

GMSkarka 5 years, 6 months ago

Of course he wants to outlaw it. It would be very inconvenient if my record of my vote didn't match the official tally.

When will Kansans wake up and see this clown for what he is?

chootspa 5 years, 6 months ago

What's to stop anyone from faking a shot of a completed ballot? Nothing. What proof is there that people are actually illegally paying for votes and demanding these easily fake-able photos as proof? None. How would you even enforce a forced no photos of ballots plan in the day and age of teeny cameras -- shy of watching people vote ? And you can't do that, because we have SECRET BALLOTS for a reason. I suppose you could make people go through metal detectors and strip searches to find hidden cameras before they go to vote, but is that a good use of taxpayer money? Besides, isn't it really a matter of freedom of speech to be able to communicate how you voted however you'd like if you so choose?

Honest to goodness, Kobach. You're the issue threatening the integrity of the vote and the freedoms of this state. I wish you'd outlaw yourself.

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

But you're actually reasonable. (for the most part ;D)

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 6 months ago

Once again, a solution looking for a problem.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 6 months ago

"Solution" is not the word you're looking for.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 6 months ago

So, if I feel like telling others how I voted, according to Kobach, I don't have the right to do so.

If posting a photograph is not a form of speech, what is it?

I had been under the impression that freedom of speech was a protected right. Apparently Kobach feels otherwise.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

You should incorporate yourself if you want to be a real person with real constitutional rights.

somedude20 5 years, 6 months ago

Kris, you may be a nice dude, who knows....but you suck at your job!

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

Hi, I'm Kris Kobach, and I got elected to an office based on my stances on illegal immigration. The problem is, my office has nothing to do with immigration, for the most part, so I've had to spend the last few years desperately trying to intuit connections, and I'm now running out of things that actually sound remotely reasonable. My hope is that no one cares or notices this.

Bob Forer 5 years, 6 months ago

Absolutely absurd. Given the number of votes cast, you would have to pay off a hell of a lot of people to even have a chance at influencing an election. Putting aside the reality that there are are plenty of legal ways to influence an election with money, how long do you thing bribery of the electorate on a scale large enough to have a chance of making a difference could remain under wraps?

Kobach remains the poster child of why Kansas is one of the laughing stocks of the country.

George_Braziller 5 years, 6 months ago

My ballot, is my ballot, is my ballot. If I want want to photograph it and post it I should be able to. I don't see how it's going to influence anyone else's vote. I've scanned one of my ancient driver's licenses just for the picture and as far as I know there isn't anyone who ran out to get their own because I had one.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 6 months ago

I kind of see his point, and I hate to agree with this man. Chrysler gave it's workers a day off to vote, and it wasn't so they could vote for Romney. And I sure don't want the company to need proof they voted and for whom.

6 BILLION dollars was spent on all elections, so corruption can happen.

tomatogrower 5 years, 6 months ago

So several other corporations were giving their employees the message that their would be consequences if Obama was elected. Of course they didn't give their employees the day off, and neither Chrysler nor these Romney "companies" followed anyone into the voting booth to watch how they voted. If Chrysler employees didn't vote for Romney, it might be because of the lie his campaign spread.

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

"And I sure don't want the company to need proof they voted and for whom."

Not taking photos won't solve this kind of problem, so you don't have to agree with him. A company that did something like that, all you'd have to do is bring it public, and sue the bastards, and it would be a done deal.

gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

If he's really worried about vote-buying on an individual basis, he should outlaw absentee ballots. With those, someone could fill out the ballot for the voter and no one would know the difference.

repaste 5 years, 6 months ago

That is the truth, absentee ballots have none of the protections required.churches could hold "prayer meetings" unions could hold "election education meetings" on and on. no id, no nothing.

Trumbull 5 years, 6 months ago

Way more potential risk of voter fraud via absentee ballot.....compared to an illegal voting without proper ID. Why was nothing reformed there? They went after the minnow instead of a bigger fish.

question4u 5 years, 6 months ago

It's a good thing that Kobach is a Republican. Otherwise people might mistake him for someone who wants to make government restrictions ever more intrusive on your freedoms.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 6 months ago

I hope he keeps it up, so the Dems can get an overwhelming majority of hispanic voters again. That group will inevitably be larger in 2016.

Kontum1972 5 years, 6 months ago

and the ones here work for a living....probably harder than you do....what do u do for a living..throw newspapers?

Joe Hyde 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure it's possible nowadays to purchase a smart phone or even a low-end cell phone that does not come equipped with an on-board camera. So is Sec. of State Kobach prepping us for a rule change that compels voters to check their cell phones at the door of the polling place? Or perhaps be frisked by election officials; or, in the case of women voters, to have their purses searched and their cell phone confiscated?

These privacy invasions aside, Sec. Kobach's idea also fails the reality test because photographs taken by a cell phone can be transmitted to another person's cell phone. Thus if a citizen is being paid to vote, that citizen can defraud the person who's paying them simply by receiving from an accomplice a cell phone photo taken by the accomplice who did vote. Indeed, that accomplice could send their ballot photo to multiple recipients each of whom can claim to have voted, and get paid money for it, when in fact they did not vote.

And if the worry is that citizens could be muscled into voting for specified candidates or face being fired from their job by a dictatorial employer, that threat can be countered easily enough by asking a friend, someone who votes the same way as your employer, to send you a cell phone photo of their ballot after they filled it out. How would the sender know that you did not vote the exact same way? How would your dictatorial boss know whether the photo of the ballot is actually your ballot? All the boss sees is a photo, but ballots don't have the voter's name printed on them, for privacy reasons.

Last, if Secretary Kobach is worried about people sharing with another person real-time information on how they voted in public elections, then he might look into getting a law passed that bans exit polls. Good luck with that.

parrothead8 5 years, 6 months ago

I've never taken a picture of my completed ballot before, but I will now. Every single time.

Richard Benson 5 years, 6 months ago

Yet another solution in search of a problem. (Thank God Kobach's voter i.d. laws prevented all of that election fraud.) (Err ... WHAT election fraud?) In terms of stanching one of society's most ominous wrecking balls, this one ranks right up there with K.S.A. 2424 -- immitating a precinct committeewoman -- which can land you up to one year in the county jail.

Small government does not flyspeck for problems.

Trumbull 5 years, 6 months ago

Is there a way to verify that our votes registered correctly. Can you look at the official record to verify? Taking a picture might not be a bad idea if you they got it wrong.

Trumbull 5 years, 6 months ago

Taking a picture could actually be a good measure to prevent voter fraud (ie at the county level). The idea is to reduce voter fraud. Isn't it?

Topple 5 years, 6 months ago

I can just imagine people selling their vote "back in the day."

Someone walking into their voter booth with a 5-pound Polaroid and lighting up the room when they take the picture.

chicago95 5 years, 6 months ago

In a year in which the term "socialism" has been so rampantly misapplied, why have we not responded by identifying "fascism" when we encounter it?

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