Archive for Monday, July 15, 2013

County budget reflects added cost of voter ID laws

July 15, 2013


Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew is expecting about $32,500 in new costs for running elections next year, largely due to the state's new voter identification laws.

“I did build in some requests for anticipated costs for implementation of the new law,” Shew said. “I added additional temp employees who will be responsible for following up with voters to get documentation, additional printing for additional notices and mailings, and more postage, anticipating a large increase in mailings to voters.”

Election officials are preparing for a busy 2014, when there will be races for governor and other statewide elected offices, as well as a U.S. Senate race, congressional races, and elections for the Kansas House of Representatives.

The draft budget that county commissioners approved for publication last week includes about $350,000 for the clerk's office in 2014. That's an increase of $32,735, or about 10 percent, over the clerk's budget in 2010, the most recent comparable election year. Most of that increase, Shew said, is related to the cost of implementing the new voter identification rule.

“I budgeted for what I felt was worst case scenario,” Shew said. “If we were assisting thousands of voters with documents, I will need staff to take on that burden beyond what the staff is currently doing at that time.”

Shew also doubled ballot costs, anticipating that the the legislature will pass a bill putting local elections into the fall of even-numbered years, which would result in multiple-page ballots, he said.

In 2011, Kansas enacted a new law that requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls. And starting this year, the law requires people signing up to vote for the first time to show proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register.

That law was pushed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, who has gained a national reputation for advocating laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration and alleged voter fraud by non-citizens.

The law has created headaches for an estimated 11,000 would-be voters in Kansas – including 434 in Douglas County, as of Monday – whose voter registration is “in suspense” because they attempted to register when they renewed their drivers license, where proof of citizenship is not required.

Shew said that about one-third of all new registrations received since the new law took effect have been held up because of the proof-of-citizenship requirement. And if that trend continues, he expects there could be “a couple thousand voters in suspense” by the November 2014 elections.

Jeannine Koranda, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Revenue, said that under the federal “motor voter” law, people must be allowed to fill out voter registration forms whenever they apply for a drivers license or renew their old license.

When they do, Koranda said, that information is forwarded to the Secretary of State's office. But since Kansas law does not require proof of citizenship to renew a drivers license, the department does not ask for that information, and so the material sent to the Secretary of State is not sufficient to complete their registration.

According to Shew, that will result in additional mailing costs to notify those voters that their registrations are incomplete, and instructing them on how to show proof of citizenship. He said it is also likely to result in a larger number of provisional ballots being cast in next year's elections, and that will result in additional staff and mailing expenses.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Arizona. Kobach has said that ruling does not affect Kansas because the law here is different from Arizona's, but some lawmakers disagree.

Senate minority leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, has asked for a formal attorney general's opinion about whether the Kansas law is still valid. Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, has not yet issued that opinion.


patkindle 2 years, 2 months ago

you have to show identification to board an airplane,

cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book,

but not to vote who runs the government

overthemoon 2 years, 2 months ago

Now you'd probably claim that buying a gun, without an id, is an inalienable right. Well, so is voting.

hillsandtrees 2 years, 2 months ago

The difference is that since 1 January 2013, in order to register to vote in Kansas, you have to show proof of citizenship - such as a birth certificate or passport. There is no requirement to show proof of citizenship to do any of the things you mentioned. The Supreme Court struck down Mr. Kobach's law in Arizona. Mr. Koback's Kansas law requires the same proof of citizenship and should also be struck down.

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

I don't have to show proof of citizenship to do those things. Well, except if I'm flying to another country.

jack22 2 years, 2 months ago

No, you don't have to show id to board an airplane, check out a book, or buy alcohol at a liquor store unless you look under 25. I recently got on a round trip flight to WI after forgetting my id in my car and had no problem making the trip.

Patricia Davis 2 years, 2 months ago

You don't have to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check our a library book. Voting is a right under our constitution. Being a consumer is not.

hillsandtrees 2 years, 2 months ago

It isn't needed. There are few if any voter frauds. Illegals don't want to bring attention to themselves by trying to vote. 11000 Kansans tried to registered - who are not - in just 6 months of the new law. It's voter suppression.

mom_of_three 2 years, 2 months ago

An extra 32K because the voter has to present their ID, seems a bit high.

hillsandtrees 2 years, 2 months ago

Not just an ID, but a proof of citizenship. Do you carry your birth certificate or passport with you all the time?

BigAl 2 years, 2 months ago

I have stated this before that I don't have problem showing my ID to vote. Just don't tell me that there is a problem with voter fraud. There isn't. Some of you folks simply support this because Kobach told you to.

hillsandtrees 2 years, 2 months ago

Also, if you are a married woman who took your husband's last name, you will need to fill out an "Affidavit of Evidence of U.S. Citizenship" swearing that you are the same person.

My question - if Mr. Kobach will accept a sworn "Affidavit of Evidence of U.S. Citizenship" in this instance, why will he not accept the "Sworn signature" on the Voter Registration form?

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

Because he wouldn't be able to exclude as many elderly/young/poor voters that way. Oops, did I give the game away?

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

No, your bright blue is still showing.

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

Are you accusing me or the voters who will be inevitably disenfranchised of being "bright blue?"

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 2 months ago

Let us not assume that elderly means frail and dumb as a fencepost. There are many elderly who are not living in nursing homes who do keep their papers in order. Do this not only for your own sake but for your family. What is going to happen if you die and they can't bury you because you don't have proper ID. Google how to mummify grandma?

If you have a loved one in a nursing home then you should be getting all of this paperwork together for them and keep it in a safe place where you will have ready access to it. Or there should be someone who works at the nursing home who is in charge of getting and keeping all of this information to have it readily available for their people.

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm hoping you actually addressed someone else and the post disappeared. I didn't assume anyone who would be disenfranchised was "frail and dumb as a fencepost." These are people who have all the paperwork!

The problem is that people are registering to vote at the DMV and showing their proof of citizenship, but the info is being lost somewhere along the line. So what should be a legitimate, legal registration is being held up by a problem outside the voter's control.

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually, if the article is correct, people aren't providing proof of citizenship at the DMV, because it's not required there.

So, it's more of a problem created by the difference between DMV guidelines and state laws.

The easy way to solve it would be to make sure that there isn't that difference.

Catalano 2 years, 2 months ago

It's not required for DL RENEWALS. Pretty sure it's required for first-time DL.

elliottaw 2 years, 2 months ago

It is, and also for changing DL from State to State

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

I don't recall having to present my bc when I moved to KS.

But, I meant when people register to vote at the DMV, according to this article, they don't have to present proof of citizenship. So, whatever they give doesn't meet the state standards for registration.

elliottaw 2 years, 2 months ago

I had to show my birth certificate when I got my Kansas DL 2 years ago

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe they changed the rules - I came here almost 20 years ago now.

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

Earlier versions made it sound like they'd done all the steps. Apparently they're not even being ASKED to provide that information when they fill out a voter registration at the DMV, even though it means they won't have a valid registration.

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

Correction - some people are, indeed, providing proof of citizenship. New licenses, people who moved, etc. The info is not being transfered with the registration. Other people - renewals - are not being asked for proof of citizenship.

gatekeeper 2 years, 2 months ago

My grandmother, who lived to a very old age (almost 100) was born on the farm and NEVER had a birth certificate. She knew what day she was born on, but that was it. She was able to vote her entire life. I wonder how many elderly there are that have no formal BC because they were born long ago out on a rural farm. I doubt my grandmother ever saw a doctor until she was grown up. It was her and the other 7 kids, ma and pa and no neighbors for miles and miles.

My mother no longer drives. It was stupid that I had to haul her up to get an ID so she could vote. The person working the poll was her neighbor of 30 years and had to check her ID to let her vote.

THESE are reasons why the law is completely stupid.

hillsandtrees 2 years, 2 months ago

My father was also born on a rural farm and didn't have or need a birth certificate.

kernal 2 years, 2 months ago

Kobach should be earning enough in his attorney fees for all those jobs he's doing out of his home to cover Kansas counties extra costs which HE caused. Too bad Kansas counties can't sue him for those costs plus attorney fees.

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 2 months ago

No, I dumped mine in the flower pot as soon as they weren't looking. OMG! I hear a rustling sound behind me, getting closer, getting louder, aarrgg!!

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Obviously, if the DMV rules and the state rules are different, we'll have this problem.

As a state agency, I'd say that the DMV should use the same guidelines as the state if they're going to let people register there.

Problem solved.

elliottaw 2 years, 2 months ago

where in the constitution does it say you have to present paper work to vote? Must be hidden right by the paragraph that says citizens must be allowed to have a weapon on them at all times.

elliottaw 2 years, 2 months ago

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[1]

Point to the part where it says the citizens must present paper verifying their citizenship?

And the 24th Amendment states:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[1]

So if you have to pay money to get your paperwork to prove that you are said person there is no difference between that and a poll tax

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 2 months ago

Answering a question with a question worked with Socrates. Oh, wait.

Thank you elliottaw, you are right. I will never forget when my Grandmother saved back money to make sure she had the poll tax so she could vote. It was of the utmost importance to her. We were living in Southwest City, Missouri and one election she was voting for Dwight David Eisenhower.

BigAl 2 years, 2 months ago

And why do conservative republicans totally support far-right wing agendas that have very little basis in fact? Again, there is NO voter fraud.

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

We're against regressive ideas like making people jump through extra hoops for no reason and throwing away the legitimate voter registration of someone who DID provide that precious identification just because your third-party DMV software can't handle the extra fields. Just like what happened to 12,000 people in Kansas this year. There's your voter fraud, right there. Only it's the state doing it to the people - not the other way around.

bd 2 years, 2 months ago

What is the details on the added costs?????????? $32,500 for what??? ID card readers?? added black panther security? interpreters???

hillsandtrees 2 years, 2 months ago

Read the article, it says. Needed are additional employees, increased printing for notices, postage, etc to try to get the Kobach required documents.

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

I take it you have absolutely no statistics to back up that strange accusation. I do have to laugh at "overeducated' as an insult, though. Oh, heavens to Betsy! They got a degree! They'll never work now!

elliottaw 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes the over educated ones who can see that their rights are being stripped from them. If only they were like the simpleminded tea bangers who follow their leader mindlessly.

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