Archive for Saturday, August 8, 2015

Kobach seeks to purge ‘suspense’ voter list

August 8, 2015


— Topeka — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is proposing a new regulation that would allow his office to purge more than 30,000 incomplete voter registration applications, most of which are being held in suspense because the voters have not yet provided proof of U.S. citizenship.

A public hearing on the proposed change is scheduled for Sept. 2 in Topeka.

The proposed change deals with a law passed in 2011 that requires new voters in Kansas to show proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register. The law took effect in 2013, and it applied for the first time in state and federal elections during last year’s mid-term elections.

In a phone interview Saturday, Kobach said the proposal is meant to save county election officials time and expense. He said there are people on the list who tried to register as far back as 2013, many of whom have since moved, but counties are told they need to continue sending reminders to those voters to submit their citizenship documents.

“Right now (the counties) can’t take them off that way,” Kobach said. “The way the regulations are structured now, they’re still sending (reminders) out to everybody on the list.”

Under the proposed change, voters would have 90 days after they file their applications to register to provide the required citizenship documents — either a birth certificate, U.S. passport, naturalization document or other document allowed under the law. After that, the application would be rejected and the voter would have to submit a new application in order to register.

That’s one of two changes Kobach’s office is proposing. A second change would provide guidance to state and local election officers about how to assess citizenship and identification documents for people whose names have changed because of marriage, divorce, change of gender or other reasons.

The 90-day requirement would be a significant change because under current practice, voters can submit the required documents — even by emailing a cellphone photo of them to their county election office — right up to Election Day, regardless of when they originally applied to register.

Kobach said the proposed 90 days is more generous than what’s offered by either of the other two states that have similar proof-of-citizenship laws, Arizona and Georgia, which give applicants only 30-45 days to complete their registrations.

Marge Ahrens, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas, said that organization opposes the proof-of-citizenship law in concept, and it plans to oppose the proposed change.

“First of all, we do see proof of citizenship as a barrier to poor persons being able to vote,” she said. “The second thing is, we see the right to vote as very sacred, and it belongs to all citizens, and we stand for encouraging those citizens to vote. That’s what the league is all about, and that’s what it has been about since 1920.”

Ahrens said she obtained a recent list that shows 34,986 voter applications currently being held in suspense. Of those, she said, 87 percent, or slightly more than 30,000, are being held because of the proof of citizenship law.

The remainder are incomplete for other reasons, such as being illegible or missing applicants’ signatures.

The proof-of-citizenship law was enacted in 2011 at the urging of Kobach, a Republican who had just been elected after running on a strong anti-illegal immigration platform. But it did not take effect until January 2013. The first state and national elections held in Kansas under the new law were last year’s mid-term elections for Congress, governor, other statewide elected offices and the Kansas House of Representatives.

An analysis by the Journal-World showed that a few weeks before the November election, more than 23,000 would-be voters’ applications were being held “in suspense” because of the proof-of-citizenship requirement.

That analysis also showed the law had a disproportionate impact on young voters, and voters who lived in low-income neighborhoods with large African-American populations. It also showed that unaffiliated voters made up the largest group of voters in suspense, while would-be Republican voters made up a disproportionately small share of the group.

Kobach has argued the law ensures that only those people who are legally entitled to vote can cast ballots, and that it prevents people who are not U.S. citizens from voting.

Another new law enacted this year gives Kobach’s office authority to prosecute election crimes. He has said he intends to begin such prosecutions next month.

Critics have argued instances of actual voter fraud are extremely rare in Kansas and do not justify blocking tens of thousands of registration applications.


Jerrie DeRose 2 years, 3 months ago

Isn't that rich. With hundreds of unfilled state positions as agencies are forced to leave positions vacant under new KS government cuts to help with the budget shortfall, it CAN, at times, take longer than 90 days to receive a birth certificate, proof of citizenships, etc., especially for those persons without a debit or credit card to purchase those items online. It can take up to a week for Topeka to EVEN get requests with the payment, form, etc. depending on where the person lives in the state. AND, for persons living in other states requiring multiple proofs for voting but were born in KS, it can take more than four months. The same goes for persons requesting marriage, divorce, or certificates of death. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN % TEA PARTY MOVE TO FIND WAYS TO PREVENT PEOPLE IN KS FROM VOTING, AND IN A STATE WHERE THE GOVERNOR WAS BARELY RE-ELECTED AND ANGER AGAINST THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS AND SENATE BECAUSE OF GOING ALONG WITH EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF LEGISLATION THE GOVERNOR HAS REQUESTED, MANY OF WHOM WILL BE UP FOR RE-ELECTION IN 2016. It is time for KS citizens and current voters to stand up and say enough. There is inherent danger in using these kinds of tactics because they are just another form of government suppression and Kobach is Brownback's number one champion and ringleader.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 3 months ago

The Third Reich is being re-created right here in Kansas. The fascist Secretary of State has revealed himself to doing his best to restrict voters in the state of Kansas. His actions speak wildly of the creators of the Third Reich and the elevation of Adolf Hitler. Yes, I said Hitler. The unabashed attacks on voters in Kansas by this confirmed fascist government official of the Koch Industries Regime are clearly stated and have been given judicial approval by the courts. That is how it starts.

Lisa Prybyl 2 years, 3 months ago

Alas, Hitler vs. Stalin recreated, right here in 21st C. Kansas!

Richard Tattersall 2 years, 3 months ago

There has been no valid proof of people that aren't citizens voting. It's another B$ Republican game that's going to cost the citizens millions as they fight it up through the courts losing every time. The 14th Amendment Ratified July 9, 1868, Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. The 15th Amendment Feb 3 1870 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 The 19th Amendment; August 18 1920. Sec 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 sex. Sec 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. The 26th Amendment July 1 1971 Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age. Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation Republicans are bragging about how much control they have of Congress, it's the most they've had in 70 years. The last election, the lowest percentage of registered voters voted in 70 years. They KNOW there's no way either of them are going to stay that way after Nov 8, 2016. They're pulling any and every kind of %$$%%# game they can think of, legal or not to prevent it. If the situation was reversed and the Democrats tried to pull the same game, they'd be screaming, THE CONSTITUTION, THE CONSTITUTION, THE CONSTITUTION The Constitution does NOT say "proof of citizenship" is required for a person to vote.

George Goldberg 2 years, 3 months ago

look,they want i.d., require the state to go out and identify eligible voters and give them free i.d. problem solved.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 years, 3 months ago

That's what our county clerk did for the elders who no longer have a drivers license. And he will do it for anyone, even coming to your place. But many county clerks do not do that. Also, if you move here from another state, or you are a first time voter you have to have your birth certificate. Those are not free.

Barb Gordon 2 years, 3 months ago

Meanwhile in Oregon, you now how to tell them specifically if you don't want to register to vote when you get your driver's license.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

The frauds are some elected officials.

The Oregon Law is the one Kansas should duplicate.

Right Wing politicians which are not necessarily republican but yes extremely radical are on a 24/7 schedule to suppress your right to vote. Which likely guarantees them election.

These anti americans have this down to a science which is to say they know exactly how many suppressed votes are necessary to win. Do NOT under estimate.

Voters ORGANIZING A VOTING DAY PACKET might be a preventive measure which could include:

--- a birth certificate

--- a drivers license or state ID card

--- proof of voter registration etc etc etc.

--- Keep this packet close to protect your right to vote

Protect YOURSELF from possible voting fraud/theft on all election days.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 3 months ago

IN ADDITION to the DIRECT suppression of tens of thousands of voters who can't vote in state elections because they registered with federal registration forms only, the Government Accounting Office found that Kansas' new voter ID regulations INDIRECTLY suppressed thousands of additional voters because of the increased requirements. To make things worse, they found that the suppression was not equally distributed. It found that it disproportionately suppressed voters MORE:

"-among registrants, as of 2008, between the ages of 18 and 23 than among registrants between the ages of 44 and 53;
-among registrants who had been registered less than 1 year than among registrants who had been registered 20 years or more; and
-among African-American registrants than among White, Asian-American, and Hispanic registrants. "

Pretty slick, eh? An easy way to suppress voters who tend to vote for the opposition, all under the guise of preventing fraud! For more information on this, read the whole report:

Bob Reinsch 2 years, 3 months ago

I saw the movie "The Purge". I'm glad I'm not on that list.

Mark Luttrell 2 years, 3 months ago

The irony of course is Kobach's steadfast refusal to release paper ballots to the WSU statistician whom has found statistical discrepencies with the vote in Sedgwick County. One of the biggest and potentially most explosive cases of voter fraud that needs to be investigated, and we have statistical evidence right in front of us to boot, yet Kobach strangely refuses to help while he pursues efforts to suppress votes elsewhere where fraud rarely ever exists.

Huh, can't quite figure it. Really is strange....... /snark

Paul R Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

Do not vote unless you will vote for the right people using the approved machines. QED. Hope KKK gets appointed to the Senate and does not run for Governor. He will cause less damage there.

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