Archive for Monday, June 17, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down voter registration law similar to the one in Kansas

June 17, 2013, 10:39 a.m. Updated June 17, 2013, 5:19 p.m.


— The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a law, similar to one in Kansas, that requires proof of citizenship to register to vote.

The dispute was over a law in Arizona called Proposition 200 that requires would-be voters to document their U.S. citizenship to register to vote under the federal "Motor Voter" registration law.

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

While the case focuses on Arizona, officials said it has implications for Kansas, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, which have similar laws.

"The proof of citizenship requirement in Kansas is almost identical to that of Arizona," said Louis Goseland, coordinator for the KanVote Coalition, which has been working to repeal the Kansas law.

He said the Supreme Court decision was "a victory for those who champion voter rights and a defeat for those who try to restrict the vote."

Goseland said he hopes Kansas legislators will now repeal the law. As of Jan. 1, any person registering to vote in Kansas for the first time is required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who works across the nation on anti-immigration and voting legislation, was instrumental in getting the law passed in Kansas and has defended the Arizona statute.

Kobach said the U.S. Supreme Court decision should have no impact on the Kansas law because the Kansas proof of citizenship requirement was drafted to avoid the legal issues that beset the Arizona law.

Kobach, a former University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor, said the Kansas law doesn’t automatically reject federal voter registration forms, as the Arizona law did. Instead, Kansas election officials hold the forms until a person’s citizenship can be verified.

That holding pattern is called "suspended status."

But Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said the proof of citizenship requirement is causing problems that may frustrate voters and cost taxpayers more money to fix.

The problem, Shew said, is that just six months after the new requirements took effect, there are quite a few would-be voters whose registration is in the suspended status. That's because when people show proof of citizenship to get a driver's license, the state's Division of Motor Vehicles is unable to forward those documents to election officials. Election officials then have to send letters and contact those people to get their voter registration cleared up.

"The large number of suspended voters right now is a concern among election officials throughout the state," Shew said.

Anticipating that this problem will grow with next year's election cycle, Shew said he has requested additional funds for outreach and temporary help.

There are 360 voter registrations in suspended status in Douglas County, and approximately 10,000 statewide, although officials say it is impossible to tell how many are suspended because of the lack of citizenship documentation.


reality_check79 10 months, 1 week ago

In other news... Another voter fraud case in Indiana involving Obama and Clinton Primary in 2008 comes out today... Shocking how liberals are against it yet the cases keep involving liberals. Very interesting indeed!


Satirical 10 months, 1 week ago

Also, for those who think the SCOTUS voted that the Arizona violated the US Constitution is wrong. The SCOTUS decided that a federal law preempts the Arizona state law. This ruling was not about whether it is ethical or reasonable to allow common sense background checks before someone can vote.


Satirical 10 months, 1 week ago

I find it interesting that the same people demanding more background checks before one may exercise the fundamental right of owning a gun, are so opposed to the same idea before one may exercise the fundamental right of voting.


rosierosess 10 months, 1 week ago

Kris lost in the SCOTUS? GOOD.


Success 10 months, 1 week ago

Does the United States Constitution prohibit non citizens from voting in local or state elections?


tennesseerader 10 months, 1 week ago

The only thing this benefits are illegal aliens that wish to destroy our country. Those justices that voted to strike down the Arizona law have violated their oaths and should be impeached. We are losing our country... Wake up America!!!


gccs14r 10 months, 1 week ago

The real vote fraud occurs when the votes are counted. The voting machine manufacturers won't let third parties verify their software, so no one has any idea who voted for whom. All we know is who is declared the winner.


oletimer 10 months, 1 week ago

the dilution of America continues. before long, this country will look nothing like it did a few years ago. "politically correctness" is killing what once was a great country. SAD


Shelley Bock 10 months, 1 week ago

How many of you have seen someone you suspect voting was an illegal? Likely, no one. This is fiction.

Assuming the majority charging voting fraud accuse illegals from Spanish speaking countries, there are several things that are so blatantly wrong.

  1. Most illegals don't want to be known to the authorities so they haven't registered to vote in the past or present. Why draw attention to yourself? Culturally many haven't exercised the right to vote in their own country, so why would they suddenly want to vote in the US?

  2. Most want to work, work and work some more. They have no desire to live in a country where they are "deemed" second class. The communities where they live lack the social structure they've known all of their lives. They want to make money and eventually go home.

  3. Few want to become citizens and vote, rather, they want to work. This is different for "dreamers" or those born here for whom the US is their culture. They either want to be or are citizens.

I've spoken in Spanish to hundreds who have the potential to be illegals and never has anyone indicated a desire to remain here, unless they were living with or married to a citizen. Their desire is to work and return home. They're good capitalists and hard workers. Seems like that's a valued trait here in the US.

I'm of the opinion that Republicans are paranoid about the numbers and that the Democrats are being unrealistic in assuming that 10+ million illegals want to stay, live for ever in the US and vote Democratic.


smileydog 10 months, 1 week ago

I forgot my password to my email account so I could not advance vote online....I had no idea Obama had my password.


BABBOY 10 months, 1 week ago

With respect to Big B, who thinks he is an expert on this stuff, I doubt anything Kris Kobach throws out there has much merit at all....


LJ Whirled 10 months, 1 week ago

A quick glance at the Court's synopsis indicates there likely will be a Round 2. The ruling seems to be that a State must accept and use the Federal form unless it has submitted its own "state-specific" form. Arizona ignored that and said they would not accept the Federal form without proof of citizenship, but never requested approval of a form to include that requirement.

The Court said that the Feds get to say "how" Federal elections are run, but the States get to say "who" gets to vote in them.

I would expect Arizona will submit a state-specific form request, and that Kansas and/or other states with similar laws, will follow suit. I would also expect that the Obama Administration will refuse to approve the state-specific forms, if they reflect the requirement to prove citizenship. I would then expect this to be back in Court, with the outcome tending to lean more toward the power of the State to say "who" may vote in the election, over the Feds' power to say "how" the election is run --- but who knows how that will come out.

Anyways ... this is not really a ruling on the merits. The Court has not said that Arizona cannot require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote --- it is strongly implied that a State may, in fact, do just that. Rather, the ruling was that Arizona ignored the Federal procedure on how it may go about putting that requirement into practice.

Much celebration or despair on either side might be a little premature.


Richard Heckler 10 months, 1 week ago

Nobody has ever said there is problem with showing ID when voting. No one.

The problem lies within the rt wing mind that make up this nonsense. Furthermore they believe that voters need a special voter ID to eliminate fraud. More absolute nonsense.

Voter fraud can happen with electronic computerized voting devices because they can be programmed to vote wrong. No special voter ID will prevent a computerized voting machine from committing fraud.

This entire concept is a waste of time and a waste of tax dollars which eliminates this rt wing GOP as fiscal conservatives or as fiscal responsible. Try the word reckless.

Let's think back a bit and remember two major home loan fraud programs were under the watch of this new rt wing GOP. Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney. It seems to me voting the rt wing GOP out of office nationwide will eliminate a ton of fraud.


fearthephog512 10 months, 1 week ago

Now Brownback's going to have to make another unconstitutional law saying that the Supreme Court's rulings cannot affect or supersede laws made within Kansas and that federal agents cannot enforce such rulings without penalty ... just like the gun law. Kansas = smh.


nugget 10 months, 1 week ago

What, no whining from the extreme right about the conservative Roberts led court of "activist judges?"

Shows how out of touch and how poorly we are represented by Kobach. Hell, even Brownback who I think will drive this state to ruin knows he has a wacko in that office.


MacHeath 10 months, 1 week ago

Plus, it cost a whole lot of money to help out the Republican party at public expense.


MacHeath 10 months, 1 week ago

There was a time I thought that showing some sort of picture ID shouldn't be any trouble for a voter. I understand why a lot of folks don't think its a big deal.

We know there was never a problem of voter fraud. Kobach scared folks over the non-existant voter-fraud problem to push his legislation through. His real agenda was to disenfranchise voters whom who would vote Democrat. Probably took a few Republicans with it.

We know this was a deliberate hoax. There was no problem with voter fraud, and if there was, Kobach cannot prove it. This is a crime against humanity.


catfishturkeyhunter 10 months, 1 week ago

What is so hard about showing your ID for voting. You have to show it for everything else in this country. If you buy smokes, booze, cash a check, write a check use a credit or debit card, buy a car, drive a car, walk around in public, everything you do you have to have an ID for. So why not for voting. No disrespect to the Hispanic people, they are a great people and make the best food, but the supreme court got it wrong this time.


reality_check79 10 months, 1 week ago

How is making sure that people voting are citizens or asking for proof of citizenship a bad thing? Never understood the uproar with showing an ID or proving you are who you say you are when you vote on matters of federal and state leaders! I'm sorry, but if your not here legally you shouldn't be voting! Mind boggling I know...


Patricia Davis 10 months, 1 week ago

Finally! We have proof that Kris Kobach did not write the Constitution. Just another reason why Kobach does not need to be given the right to prosecute voter fraud. It's not our fault republicans voted in an inexperienced attorney as attorney general who would probably mess his pants in front of the Supreme Court.


Larrytown 10 months, 1 week ago

Let me be the first, of many, in writing that I'm absolutely shocked by this news. The fact that Kris Kobach (world-renowed constitutional scholar) helped write the Arizona law...I figured it was all but certain to be upheld by the Supreme Court.

Sarcasm meter turned off....


Bruce Bertsch 10 months, 1 week ago

Its still Kobach's solution seeking a problem. Its a waste as is the current Secy of State in Kansas.


dontsheep 10 months, 1 week ago

Meanwhile, at Kobach's home over the weekend. His kids were reported to be inside at the time. Where's the coverage LJW?

Who invaded you ask? These fine folks.

Notice their guiding principles. Especially the one that says, "Everyone should have human rights, including food, shelter, medical care, education, and a job."

and then this one. "The common good is more important than privilege for a few."

Pretty sure this idiotic thinking is what leads to millions of people dead...


notajayhawk 10 months, 1 week ago

In light of the fact that the Supreme Court has upheld voter ID laws, exactly how does this make sense? When you get to the voting site, you have to prove your name is John Smith, but you never had to prove that John Smith is eligible to vote???


Centerville 10 months, 1 week ago

They only need to aver (swear) they are citizens under penalty of perjury. That’s the Federal Form law/usage.

Arizona requires proof of citizenship for state level elections. They can continue to do so at state level, but for federal elections a simple attest to citizenship is the law.

So if Arizona wants to go after voter fraud, they are going to have to make the effort post election to investigate under probable cause those who are not registered to vote in state elections, but registered to vote in federal elections.

Also, the ruling advises Arizona on how to correct the technical problem and attain the same result.


jane_doe 10 months, 1 week ago

Oh Kris! Keep up the defense.



gccs14r 10 months, 1 week ago

Now can we get rid of Kobach?


Commenting has been disabled for this item.