Archive for Friday, December 16, 2016

Kobach seeks Kansas driver’s license list in voting rights case

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Topeka.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Topeka.

December 16, 2016


— Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked a federal court Thursday to order the state to release to him a list of about 21,000 people who have temporary driver's licenses in an apparent effort to bolster his claims that noncitizens are voting.

The move comes in a civil lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging a Kansas law requiring documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote.

Kansas issues temporary driver's licenses to noncitizens who are lawfully in the U.S., and Kobach seemingly wants to compare that list with voting rolls as part of his defense case in the civil litigation.

The Kansas Department of Revenue has resisted disclosing the temporary driver's license list based on potential privacy issues, but Kobach argued in his filing that the department has indicated it would release it pursuant to a court order. The Kansas Republican contended that the Privacy Act only applies to individuals who are citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Kobach told the court the list would be used by its expert in the civil case.

He did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment Thursday.

Generally, people who hold temporary driver's licenses in Kansas are all noncitizens, Jeannine Koranda, spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue, said in an email. But there may be a few rare cases where a temporary license holder has naturalized into a U.S. citizen and not updated the records with the Division of Vehicles, she said.

Temporary driver's licenses in Kansas are issued to people who have valid nonimmigrant visas, a pending application for asylum, deferred action status, a temporary protected status, or a pending permanent resident status, she said.

The American Civil Liberties Union said such licenses are available only to noncitizens who are legally present in the U.S., and the group has no basis to oppose Kobach obtaining access.

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU voting right's project, said in an email that it is certainly possible for someone to get a temporary driver's license, then become a naturalized citizen and then register to vote.

"So a person's mere presence in the TDL database does not mean that the person is currently a noncitizen or illegally registered to vote," Ho said.

Doug Bonney, chief counsel for the ACLU of Kansas, said that he anticipates that even if the court orders the Department of Revenue to release the listing, it will probably be covered by a protective order restricting how it is used.

Kobach separately has prosecutorial power to bring charges against noncitizens who vote, but he has not prosecuted any noncitizens for voting since the state Legislature granted him that authority in 2015.


Carol Bowen 1 year, 3 months ago

From the court's perspective, it probably looks like the cart is before the horse. Kobach made claims and set up a program for voter fraud. Now, after all that, he wants to substantiate his efforts with data that profiles and the data is conditional.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 3 months ago

Will this jack ass ever stop?? does he have anything to do besides cause trouble?

I hope Trump takes him away, far, far, away.

And loses him.

Tony Peterson 1 year, 3 months ago

Driver's licenses aren't even produced on-site anymore so anyone who renews their license on the day it expires gets a temporary license to use until the permanent one arrives in the mail.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 3 months ago

This clown will get the list, find only 1 person who voted illegally, then claim there are thousands. Good grief. First of all these temporary licenses are mostly issued to exchange students and visiting professor. They know they can't vote. And an illegal would probably obtain a permanent driver's license with fake documents, and are they going to risk being deported just so they can vote? Did Kobach take this joke from the Breakfast Club joke seriously? To steal a quote by Harrison Ford "Kobach, it was a movie. It's not like that in real life. But then how would you know what's real?"

Bob Forer 1 year, 3 months ago

" but Kobach argued in his filing that the department has indicated it would release it pursuant to a court order."

Kobach's argument is an intellectually dishonest non-argument. Of course. Any state agency is going to comply with a lawful order of the court. So what. That simple fact does not add to nor detract from the issues at hand. A court implicitly assumes its orders will be obeyed by a state agency.

Kocbach is the proverbial charlatan.

Michael Kort 1 year, 3 months ago

What checks and balance will the court insist on to keep Koback and Trump ( his lying master ) from distorting this data, modifying it and then publishing false data on fake websites to serve Trumps ends ?

Can you really trust that Kobach and the President Elect of the Pizza-Gate Party will not distort this information ?

I don't ! ! !

And why is General Flynn not gone like his lying pizza-gate son as he was creating false stories on line as well ?

Liars are liars and they lie .

A bird is a bird. A cat is a cat . A liar is a liar and they lie as a fact of there existing .

Give a liar a chance and they will lie again .

Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Voters can be eliminated in each winner take all state by way of the Electoral College which is why the popular vote should be the rule. The person with the largest number of votes should win aka simple majority. This has been my position for a few years.

The electoral college sucks. Just like United We Stand sucks. Just like too much time spent on campaigning sucks. Just like wayyyyyyy too much money is allowed to be spent on campaigns sucks.

Trump risky conflicts of interests and massive debt to multiple countries is a problem

Trump construction project in russia as we speak is a bit stinky

A massive oil deal with russia stinks as well

Trump is surrounding himself with people who will have no problem telling him to take a hike.

Trump has lost a ton of money through his reckless investing

So maybe Trump wants to be president in order to obstruct legal proceedings?

Trump and Kobach may have way too much in common such as being risky characters.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

ALEC is directly tied to the emerging trend among state legislatures to consider voter ID laws.

Using false allegations of “voter fraud,” right-wing politicians are pursuing policies that disenfranchise students and other at-risk voters — including the elderly and the poor — who are unlikely to have drivers’ licenses or other forms of photo ID.

By suppressing the vote of such groups, ALEC’s model “Voter ID Act” grants an electoral advantage to Republicans while undermining the right to vote.

In addition, ALEC wants to make it easier for corporations to participate in the political process.

Their Public Safety and Elections taskforce is co-chaired by Sean Parnell of the Center for Competitive Politics, one of the most vociferous pro-corporate election groups, and promotes model legislation that would devastate campaign finance reform and allow for greater corporate influence in elections.

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