Archive for Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Secretary of State candidate Schodorf calls for end of ‘two-tiered’ voting

June 24, 2014, 2:54 p.m. Updated June 24, 2014, 3:44 p.m.


— Jean Schodorf, the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, said Tuesday that voters should not be denied the right to cast a ballot in state and local elections for failing to provide proof of citizenship.

During a Statehouse news conference, Schodorf harshly criticized incumbent Republican Kris Kobach for his implementation of a new law requiring new voters to show proof of citizenship, even though she voted for that law in 2011.

"My voting for this bill was not a mistake," Schodorf said, referring to the Safe and Fair Elections Act, also known as SAFE. "My mistake was trusting Kris Kobach: believing the lies that Kris Kobach told me, the lies that Kris Kobach told the Legislature, and the lies that Kris Kobach told the Kansas people."

Schodorf outlined a plan for fixing what she called a "broken" voter registration system. It calls for improving training and support for poll workers and county election officials; fully implementing the federal REAL ID program, which requires proof of citizenship to obtain a drivers license; and allowing all people whose registrations are currently "in suspense" due to the citizenship requirement to vote this year, unless the state can prove the voter is not a citizen.

"Under my plan, we will end the guilty until proven innocent status that currently exists," Schodorf said.

Since Jan. 1, 2013, anyone registering for the first time in their county, including people moving back to Kansas from another state, have had to show proof of citizenship to register to vote.

Schodorf, who was a Republican state senator from Wichita in 2011, said that when the bill was debated, Kobach promised that most people would not notice the new law once it took effect, and that its implementation would be "seamless."

She switched parties to become a Democrat after losing a Republican primary race in 2012.

Since the proof-of-citizenship requirement took effect, however, Schodorf said 28 percent of the new voter registrations have been placed "in suspense" due to the citizenship requirement. That includes 624 registrations in Douglas County, according to local election officials.

Kobach has said that people who attempted to register using a federal registration form, which does not ask for proof of citizenship, will be allowed to vote in federal races for the U.S. House and Senate. But those who used the state form and have not provided proof of citizenship before the registration deadline will not be allowed to vote.

Kobach's campaign did not immediately respond to Schodorf's comments.


Dan Eyler 3 years, 10 months ago

So let me understand the logic here. We have illegals crossing our border as we speak. We now have warehouses in Texas housing thousands of illegals. We have government lawyers paid for by the middle-class setting up the foodstamps, housing, healthcare and every other social services for these illegals. We have government planes and trains shipping these children, teens and adults across the nation to communities where they will compete for services of poor Americans. So heck yes every voter should show proof of citizenship to vote. Ars we really this ignorant.

Linda and Bill Houghton 3 years, 10 months ago

There are two problems with your logic:

These "illegals", in general, are not competing with the poor Americans. They are taking jobs that our poor will not do.

Secondly, these "illegals" will not try to vote for fear that their status will be discovered and that they will be deported.

Kevin Elliott 3 years, 10 months ago

If you think the best the USA, the best Kansas can do is disenfranchise thousands and thousands of legitimate voters to curb what is at best a few possible illegal votes in the last decade, then you fail each and every test of the American values of citizenship and support a lazy and thoughtless approach to protecting the value of the American voting system.

3 years, 10 months ago

"...Will end the guilty until proven innocent status..." This statement is as naive, unfortunately, as trusting Kobach in the first place...don't worry though Jean...another stock market crash which will be worse than the 2008 one, predicted sometime between now and 2017, will cause revolutionary changes that apparently will send most Kansas dems "running for the hills".

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