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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Two legislators will file bill to change proof-of-citizenship requirement for voters

August 28, 2013

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— Two legislators will file a bill during the special session next week that they said would fix a law that has jeopardized the voter registrations of approximately 15,000 Kansans.

Sonny Scroggins, a social activist in Topeka, protested Wednesday outside Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office. Scroggins opposes the state's new requirement, pushed by Kobach, that people show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote. Scroggins' protest came on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

Sonny Scroggins, a social activist in Topeka, protested Wednesday outside Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office. Scroggins opposes the state's new requirement, pushed by Kobach, that people show proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote. Scroggins' protest came on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

Noting that there are elections scheduled this fall in Johnson County, state Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, said today, "Suspended voters will not be able to vote in these upcoming elections without passage of this act. We must protect the right for all people to vote."

In Kansas, approximately 15,000 Kansans cannot currently cast ballots because their voter registrations are in "suspense" because they haven't proved their U.S. citizenship with a birth certificate or other document. The state's proof-of-citizenship requirement became effective Jan.1 .

Faust-Goudeau and state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, plan to introduce the Protection Against Voter Suppression Act, which would add to state law a provision similar to the one in federal law that allows a voter to sign an affidavit stating he or she is a citizen. If the statement were false, the voter would face a jail sentence.

"We want strong integrity in our voting system, but more than 15,000 Kansans not being able to vote is wrong," said Ward.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arizona proof-of-citizenship requirement similar to the current Kansas law.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who pushed for the proof-of-citizenship requirement, has defended the Kansas law.

Kobach and the secretary of state of Arizona are seeking a court order requiring the United States Election Assistance Commission to modify the federal voter registration form to include those states’ requirements that a person provide proof of citizenship to register to vote.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the proof of citizenship requirement, has notified Kobach that it will file a lawsuit against the state.

The Kansas Legislature is scheduled to start a special session Tuesday to address a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that has sidelined the state law that allows a sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years in heinous murder cases.

Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative leaders have said they want to limit the special session to working on the so-called Hard 50 law.

But Ward said legislators should also tackle the voting law during the special session.

"We can and should fix this now, during a special session where we are already proactively fixing another law ruled unconstitutional, and before upcoming elections," he said.

Comments

verity 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I must be missing something here, but if a person has registered at the DMV while getting a driver's license, don't they then have a photo ID?

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Frank Smith 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Kobach's law has caused trouble for a number of states.

It has no other purpose than to keep certain demographics from voting, including Democrats, students, union members, or minorities.

Kobach has long been a racist for hire, sucking at the Koch brothers' teat.

Throwback's judicial appointment of Phill Kline's lawyer is another reason that there will be a special session, so that this and others like it can be rushed through further from public scrutiny.

You can bet on other hijinks while they're in session.

Let's hope that Scam is just a one-term governor.

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IndusRiver 7 months, 3 weeks ago

...guys like Kris Kobach ride out of town on the same horse they rode in on?

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IndusRiver 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I can't get a certified copy of my birth record without a photo ID. I can't get my photo ID without a copy of my birth record.

Criminally stupid. Isn't voting how.....

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Richard Heckler 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Why do the government haters never leave a government tax dollar payroll?

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Number_1_Grandma 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Damn shame it's easier to get assault weapon than it is the chance to vote....

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globehead 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Kobach screwed it up. Kobach should fix it! These 15,000 people already did 100% what they were supposed to do. Kobach needs to drive to every one of their residences or to whatever state agency has their birth records, regardless of the state, and get the copies himself. He screwed it up...he needs to fix it. No election should be held until this is fixed and when current terms expire, nobody should be seated until this is fixed, period. This is a total travesty. This useless farce of a Secretary of State for Kansas has accomplished the exact opposite of what his job entails. If he was a french fry cook, he'd have been fired a long time ago.

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mikekt 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Why Is it that it takes two Democrats to save, what ( based on the states voting history ) would probably be a larger number of Suspended Re-Publican votes, than Democratic votes?...............imagine that, ......if you can ?

Maybe if you are a Re-Publican voter, you should call Brownie or Kobach and ask them what they are up to,...... with your parties suspended votes ?...............on the other hand, it might be better not to know ! ?.............why......because there might be a voting rights crime going on and knowing could make you a possible accessory, to a deliberate criminal act ?!

Why should the acts of Brownie, Kobach and the Ks Legislature be treated any differently, than any of the undocumented, so called possible election frauds, that their Voter ID mess, was meant to supposedly correct ?

I have a right to wonder if they invented a mythical voting crime, only to replace it with a real voting crime of their own ?

3

Armstrong 7 months, 3 weeks ago

So I guess the big question is how do these 15,000 wannabe voters not have any of the following.

•Birth certificate that verifies United States citizenship •United States passport or pertinent pages of the applicant's valid or expired United States passport identifying the applicant and the applicant's passport number •United States naturalization documents •Other documents or methods of proof of United States citizenship issued by the federal government pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 •Bureau of Indian Affairs card number, tribal treaty card number or tribal enrollment number •Consular report of birth abroad of a citizen of the United States •Certificate of citizenship issued by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services •Certification of report of birth issued by the United States Department of State •American Indian card, with KIC classification, issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (Note: This document applies only to a small Texas band of the Kickapoo tribe with slightly more than 50 members.) •Final adoption decree showing the applicant's name and United States birthplace •United States military record of service showing applicant's place of birth in the United States •Extract from a United States hospital record of birth created at the time of the applicant's birth indicating the applicant's place of birth in the United States •Only if the agency indicates on the applicant's driver's license or nondriver's identification card that the person has provided satisfactory proof of United States citizenship, then a driver's license or nondriver's identification card issued by the Kansas Division of Vehicles or the equivalent governmental agency of another state within the United States

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William Weissbeck 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Keep this up and no one will want to admit they are citizens.

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oldbaldguy 7 months, 3 weeks ago

naw, this is really about voter suppression. i vote repbublican and i can see what it is. also a great way to rake in attorney fees for mr kobach in his wanderings around the country.

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Standing_on_my_own_2_feet 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I went to the see my Doctor the other day. I HAD TO SHOW PHOTO ID before I could receive services. Hmmmmm. Many of the people complaining about the new Voter ID law are absolutely clueless. You people are so blinded by your hatred for republicans that is akin to the hatred of racism that you continually accuse "other" people of.

Shame on you.

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jafs 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Anybody who has the proof should take it directly to the County Clerk's office, and make sure they are correctly registered, if they want to vote.

Of course, it's possible that some of these folks want to make this a legal issue, and would prefer to continue to be "in suspense", which I guess is ok, but I'd prefer they actually vote.

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Jayhawker07 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Exactly who are our most precious voters? Am I not or 1%ers or who? Anything and everything I do gets recorded audio/video and show ID. I even have a Dillons Card, and so many others. How in the heck can I escape this world with no ID? I hope they are not talking about our elderly. These folks are most of the ones who get off there axxes and vote. Who are these most precious voters?

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oldexbeat 7 months, 3 weeks ago

soon only white males that own property will be wanted on the voter rolls by Krissss Kobach. That's the point. See that.

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Dont_Tread_On_Me 7 months, 3 weeks ago

"We must protect the right of all people to vote"

What a twit - that right does not exist.

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James Nelson 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Voting is one of our most precious rights and for 15,000 Kansans to have it ripped away by an overzealous politician is too much for me, too. One knows on the one hand that the federal courts will declare the law unconstitutional as they have already in other states. The question is "how long will that take"? This large number could actually sway some elections and I would hate to see these people's votes not count in elections waiting for the courts. I believe the legislature should take this up and fix this problem.

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jhawkinsf 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, I've changed my mind. I expected the numbers of people to be denied their right to vote to be in the low single digits, a number very close to the numbers of illegal votes cast. The numbers of those denied their right to vote is alarmingly high. Until all the kinks are worked out, I've reversed my position on proof of citizenship requirements.

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consumer1 7 months, 3 weeks ago

"If the statement were false, the voter would face a jail sentence." What a joke this will be, Who exactly will be investigating voter fraud on these cases? another tax payer draining government buracracy?

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BABBOY 7 months, 3 weeks ago

What a waste of time. I agree with the new bill. Jail time seems to be a better punishment for voter fraud. But, Kobach has wasted so much time and money on this issue.

I will tell you this. If there is a voter fraud problem with illegals, then they did a very poor job because nothing but tea party and conservatives were elected in the last election here in Kansas.

Anyway, the lawsuits coming related to obvious constitutional flaws caused by bills supported Mr.. Kobach and Governor Brownback will be a waste of time and money as both men knew their proposals were unconstitutional and supported them only to get voted into office on stupid issues by scaring the public about abortion, guns, and illegal aliens. Total BS....

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