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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Kobach considering plan that could produce two kinds of voters

July 31, 2013

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— Some voters in Kansas would be able to vote in federal elections but not state contests under a proposal that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach today said he was considering.

"A state could certainly achieve that course," Kobach said.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court in an Arizona case threw out Arizona's law that requires would-be voters to provide documents proving U.S. citizenship.

But Kobach said the court ruling was narrowly drawn to address only those who use the federal "Motor Voter" registration form.

Writing for the 7-2 Supreme Court majority, Justice Antonin Scalia had said that federal law "precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself."

In Kansas, a new state law requires proof of citizenship to register to vote.

Kobach, a Republican who pushed for that law, said he is considering a proposed rule change that would allow those who use the federal form to register to vote to be allowed to vote in federal elections, such as presidential and congressional contests. The federal voter registration form does not require proof of citizenship documents, but includes a signed sworn statement that the individual is a U.S. citizen.

But those people would not be allowed to vote in state elections, such as contests for governor, other statewide offices and the Legislature.

Those who register to vote by providing proof of citizenship will be able to vote in both federal and state elections under the proposal.

Dolores Furtado, president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas, said she would strongly oppose such a plan.

"It won't work," Furtado said. "When we can't handle registrations, the process of applications and processing registrations, how are we going to separate ballots?" she said. "This is creating a problem. Whenever we make things complex, people shun away."

But Kobach said few Kansans register to vote using the federal form, so it shouldn't affect too many voters.

Since the state proof of citizenship requirement took effect at the start of this year, more than 13,000 new Kansas voter registrants have been unable to complete the process because they didn't provide citizenship documents, such as a birth certificate or passport.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said of the proposal that Kobach was considering, "I don't think that makes a lick of sense."

Davis said he thinks the Legislature or the courts are going to have to step in to ensure that qualified voters are able to vote.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It is time for Kobach to resign because he cannot keep himself busy on issues that matter. He brought with him this personal agenda while on the tax dollar payroll.

How do we get tax dollar haters of the tax dollar payroll? These thinkers do not make wise use of their time therefore spend tax dollars in a reckless manner. Oddly enough these thinkers are of the right wing party NOT the republican party.

Let's call this bunch the ALEC Right Wing Party of Reckless Spenders who despise the working class.

Kansas has no voting problems. Kansas does have a ALEC Right Wing Party of Reckless Spenders problem.

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Mike Ford 8 months, 2 weeks ago

fire the election fixers in 2014. plessy v. feguson and the voting rights act of 1964 ended this nonsense right?

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George Lippencott 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The constitution requires that a voter in federal elections be a citizen - go check it. It is therefore not unreasonable to require people to prove they are in order to vote. While the motor voter law established that simply saying you are one is adequate requiring more at the state level is not necessarily in conflict.

Exactly what is the problem in requiring that at least once you prove your citizenship to vote? How do you know that there is not voter fraud - there is no real system to identify it (other than when the number of votes cast exceeds the registered voters as it has in some cases in the past). Note that you can not vote unless registered ( a limitation on voting).

We have 12 million undocumented workers in this country. By signing a statement at the DMV what stops then from becoming voters when they are not citizens in contravention of the constitution.

Voting is one of our most precious rights. By allowing people that may not be citizens to vote you undermine our basic rights by cheapening them.

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Trumbull 8 months, 2 weeks ago

When is this going to end? Why do are elected servants keep worrying about voter fraud? It is such a miniscule issue that does not even exist. Has anyone ever been convicted of voter fraud? What is it with this total waste of effort? They totally cannot see the big picture and are unable to prioritize. Cannot see the forest for the trees.

It would be more productive if they place priority on bigger issues. Perhaps they can think of ways to save money on coffee expense at the capital? Maybe limit the # of post-it notes. Heck, things like that are way bigger than voter fraud.

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John McCoy 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Nasty man, your Kobach. Much like our Perry in Texas. Both haters.

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jafs 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a little complicated.

From my reading, some who registered at the DMV did in fact provide the level of ID the state requires, and it got lost in transit somehow, while others simply provided what the feds require.

Folks who think that we should have to provide more ID than the feds require should advocate for that at the federal level, not the state level, since federal law trumps state law.

Continuing to pass state laws that conflict with federal laws wastes our time, energy and money.

4

angelus 8 months, 2 weeks ago

And for all those that keep insisting voter fraud isn't an issue here is Brietbart demonstrating how absolutely trival it is by vote jacking Eric Holder.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/04/08/DC-Polling-Place-Holder-Ballot

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Kate Rogge 8 months, 2 weeks ago

What a disgraceful man to be serving as the Kansas Secretary of State. Shameful misuse and abuse of power in the name of his personal ambition and staggering inadequacies.

2

jayhawklawrence 8 months, 2 weeks ago

At this point in his political career, Kobach might find more success as a cartoon character.

The idea that he is a crusader fighting the evil of voter fraud is making the Republican Party in Kansas look like the joke it has become.

2

Pheps 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a phony issue. 13000 is an acceptable number to have. The good thing about being unidentified is the ability to slip through the cracks of society. People in the shadows will live a freer life than identified ones.

0

George Lippencott 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder what percentage of the 1300 or so voters that seemed to lack adequate identification in the last cycle will eventually produce same so as to be fully registered?. If they don't could Mr. Kobach have a point?

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Pheps 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I guess Kobach didn't realize how many people there were that can not identify themselves. Who knew?

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Sylvie Rueff 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The next thing we know, the powers driving Kansas will have the state seceding from the rest of the country, which will make an odd map. We can call it Kokobrobackistan, build a fence around it, and sell it to the highest bidder.

1

Orwell 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It's a real shame when anyone believes the falsehood that this has anything to do with the integrity of the electoral process. It's a conscious effort to suppress voting, particularly voting by those who would be more likely to vote against the incumbents.

If you believe in making it the least bit harder for ordinary voters to participate you're unfit to serve the public – and particularly unfit to serve as an election official.

3

avarom 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, there's defintely two kinds of votes in Kansas, the kind they Count, and the kind they Don't......... for it does Not fit the BrownBuck $$$$$$$ Agenda!!!

3

oldexbeat 8 months, 2 weeks ago

should help keep the White House in the demo party for a couple of more terms -- the bigots in the GOP Tea Party are amazingly good at making people upset with them. The Koch Brothers followers are limited in number. The rest of the country will vote out at a national level the GOP again and again. The bigots in Kansas government -- Brownback, Huelskamp, Jenkins, Kobach, George, etc. are just the help the national Democratic Party needs to win. Bonus.

6

Bob Forer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Kobach and his camp followers just spat in the face of every American man and woman, who throughout over two hundred years of American history, gave their time, sweat, blood and/or lives for the one of the most precious bounties of advanced human civilization--democracy.

I cannot help but be reminded of the admonishment a great Republican gave our nation nearly 150 years ago at Gettysburg:

'It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

These scoundrels should move to Afghanistan and leave our democracy alone.

THEY ARE TO THE LAST ONE CONTEMPTIBLE, DISGUSTING HUMAN BEINGS.

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Beth Ennis 8 months, 2 weeks ago

and who is going to pay for these 2 separate election procedures??? We the tax payers are going to have to pay, because it will cost millions I'm sure to have separate elections and separate voter registration rolls and wow, keeping them both straight! On top of that, we will all have to register to vote yet again I'm guessing, but maybe not. Who knows. But I can guarantee that there is going to be a huge bill to the taxpayers for this plan.

6

jayhawklawrence 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I admire what Kris Kobach did as a student. Job well done and it is something to be proud of.

His political positions leave me perplexed. Something is missing in his brain.

Why?

Why do educated people act so stupid?

1

angelus 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The very fact the left throws a fit over even the most minimal attempts to ensure the integrity of the election process tells you everything you need to know.

0

tomatogrower 8 months, 2 weeks ago

. "This is creating a problem. Whenever we make things complex, people shun away."

That is exactly what Kobach wants.

4

Pheps 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I think the Federal government voting authorities should catch up to the sensible voting measures in Kansas. This will eliminate the two types of voters.

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James Nelson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

4

ksjayhawk74 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Why is is 10x harder to register to vote than it is to get a gun?

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scaramouchepart2 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Very simple : those Which the republican conservatives want and those they don't.

2

Richard Payton 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The DMV form doesn't allow enough character space to put in a complete address. At least that was my experience. This new idea is a waste of time and money. I agree with Dolores!

3

orbiter 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Wadde Salmon,

Maybe you are joking (your barely literate style of writing is throwing me), but according to the "facts" your "state of kansas friend" is telling you: there must be at least 84 state employees whose only job is to process citizenship requests.

10

Stuart Sweeney 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This guy is absolute validation of what is wrong with Kansas!

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Lefty54 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Even the most die-hard republican has to see that this guy is a disaster and in way over his head.

11

Darin wade 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"I have a state of kansas friend says the state workers are always on the phone and spend long hours of Telephone time that can process 1000 applicants in an hour.

0

Darin wade 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"last year it took 3 months for the state of kansas to process state returns in 2012"

1

mikekt 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey,...... Kris Kobach..............."WHERE'S THE BEEF" ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

You need to show us the proof of some of the "MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF CASES OF VOTER FRAUD IN KANSAS",..........particularly the Re-Publican Ones........that you worry about............that merit your extremist, unreasonable ( biased towards your personal delusional paranoid beliefs...... or your desire to fool the public ? ) policies and actions .

7

Darin wade 8 months, 2 weeks ago

my friend state of kansas employee says it only takes 5 minutes to process a state proof of citizenship.

0

Darin wade 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I m for Proof of citizenship to vote their are lazy state workers that dont want to prove citizenship to vote.

0

optimist 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree, two groups of voters will only confuse the process. Unfortunately the Supreme Court ruling, while I often agree with Scalia, was not there’s to make. The states have sole authority over elections. While as a consequence of history it became necessary to uphold the Constitution when some states chose to discriminate against a class of people it did not shift election authority to the federal government. Motor voter was an unfunded mandate that the federal government had no authority to force upon the states and should have been struck down by the courts. For the court to use it for a basis in a decision is unnerving. Unless there is absolute evidence that proof of citizenship to register will directly and intentionally affect a class of people then the federal government and the Supreme Court has no standing. I realize that many have stated that people of particular races or ages will be disproportionately affected. To that I say bull. Every American in this country that has a job or has had a job, served in the military, received welfare, social security or other government benefits, opened a bank account or bought a home has had to prove their citizenship. Unless one is living in the wilderness without an address there is absolutely no reason an American citizen can't and shouldn't have to prove such in order to vote. The only reason to oppose this protection of the voting system is to allow for illegals to vote and other forms of voter fraud to occur. There is no other logical conclusion to be drawn from all of the ridiculous examples of people that might be negatively impacted.

2

dinglesmith 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This is truly a legal train wreck just waiting to happen. I've never agreed with Kobach, but this goes far deeper than that. To believe you can have two classes of citizens in Kansas defined by their voting rights is not only unconscionable, it flies in the face of about 100 years of legal decisions regarding voting. If Kobach doesn't know that, he is unfit for his job and should be recalled.

20

Karl_Hungus 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Kobach, the serial killer of American rights and values!!

0

kansas_cynic 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Every time I think Kris couldn't get stupider, he proves me wrong.

20

orbiter 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Inefficient solutions (the goofiness spelled out in this article) for a problem (voter fraud) that doesn't exist that are somehow supposed to be carried out by an underfunded government full of "lazy" state workers that "can't make it in the real world so they mooch off of taxpayers". Way to go, Kris.

Is this really Conservatism, or creative B.S. from another Ivy League snake oil salesman trying desperately to join the ruling class by treating us hayseeds as stupid, drooling dogs?

18

oldbaldguy 8 months, 2 weeks ago

this man has his head up is butt. how that plan could pass muster from a court is beyond me. he went to an ivy league law school too. that's my opinion as a ku law grad.

15

nick_s 8 months, 2 weeks ago

And so it continues... We actually pay these people. They actually draw a real pay-check, that they can exchange for real money, for their "work" in our Legislature on manufactured issues. Wow.

19

skinney 8 months, 2 weeks ago

What ever it takes to throw the election the republican way! KK will figure out a way to do that!

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