Archive for Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Kobach claims Kansas law halted thousands of noncitizen votes; ACLU argues it disenfranchised thousands more citizens

In this file photo from Aug. 23, 2016, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach responds to questions outside the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after delivering an argument in a legal fight over how the state of Kansas enforces its proof-of-citizenship requirement for voters who register at motor vehicle offices.

In this file photo from Aug. 23, 2016, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach responds to questions outside the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after delivering an argument in a legal fight over how the state of Kansas enforces its proof-of-citizenship requirement for voters who register at motor vehicle offices.

March 6, 2018, 11:34 a.m. Updated March 6, 2018, 2:50 p.m.


— Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach defended his state's voter registration law Tuesday in federal court, claiming the measure he championed has prevented between 1,000 and 18,000 noncitizens from casting ballots.

During opening statements in a federal lawsuit challenging his authority to implement the requirements, Kobach said one of his experts will testify that the higher end of that range is more likely.

He argued the law, which requires people to provide documents such as a birth certificate or passport at motor vehicle offices to register to vote, was much more effective than previous policies that required registrants only to check boxes saying they were over 18 and a U.S. citizen.

"Just having to sign something saying you are a U.S. citizen is nothing," Kobach said.

Kobach said his office has been able to document 129 noncitizens who voted or tried to vote since 2000, although documentation earlier to the court had the number at 127. He said that number is "the tip of the iceberg, and we know the iceberg is much larger."

Dale Ho, director for the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, argued in his opening statement that the law has kept an estimated 22,000 people from voting — most of them young or independent voters. He said of the 127 cases Kobach cited earlier, 43 successfully registered since 2000 and only 11 actually voted, most through clerical errors or misunderstandings. He said even if Kobach's numbers are true, only 0.007 percent of Kansas' 1.8 million registered voters should have voted illegally.

"This case is about the most fundamental right in democracy and a law that has deprived thousands in Kansas from using that right," said Ho, who compared the law to "taking a bazooka to a fly."

Charles Stricker testified Monday that he thought he was registered to vote until he showed up to the polls in 2014. He told the court how he felt confused and embarrassed as he filled out a provisional ballot at a designated table. His vote didn't count.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Stricker testified he made two trips to the local motor vehicle office on the final day he could register for the 2014 general election. He was initially told he needed additional documentation such as a birth certificate and a piece of mail showing he lives in Kansas. When he returned, nobody asked him to provide the documentation, and he left assuming he was registered.

He testified that when he called the Sedgwick County elections office to ask if he could vote in 2016, an employee told him his status was "complicated" pending unresolved legal issues. That experience motivated him to participate in the trial.

"I don't think the average Kansas citizen should have to sue the secretary of state to get registered to vote," he said.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson must decide whether Kobach has legal authority to demand the documentation. The lawsuit requires Kobach to show that Kansas has a "substantial" problem of noncitizens registering to vote, and the definition of "substantial' is the central legal question of the case.

Kobach, the vice chairman of President Donald Trump's recently disbanded commission on election fraud, argues the law is necessary to prevent voter fraud and says even a small number of noncitizens voting could sway a close election.

Plaintiffs in the case say instances of noncitizens registering to vote are extremely rare and argue that such Republican-backed laws hurt voter registration efforts and disenfranchise minorities and college students who may not have the documentation readily available.

Since the law took effect in 2013, about one in seven voter registration applications in Kansas was blocked for lack of proof of citizenship — with nearly half for people under the age of 30, according to court filings.

Robinson in May 2016 temporarily blocked the law's implementation for people who register at driver licensing offices, a ruling that was upheld by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.


Aaron McGrogor 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Does he have documented proof for that 18,000?

Bob Summers 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The collusion between Liberals and criminal trespasser's influencing elections is astounding.

Yet, the Liberal's fantasy of Trump's collusion with Russia continues to stir their emotional hypersensitivity juices.

Dangerous people these Liberals.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

So why do the Republicans keep winning in Kansas. Are you guys committing voter fraud?

Bob Summers 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why? Because of the efforts of patriots like Kobach.

Kendall Simmons 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Patriot? You think Kobach is a PATRIOT??? You don't even know what the word means, do you? It certainly doesn't mean that it's OK to ban voting by thousands of US citizens who are also Kansas residents because of less than 130 people registered to vote in Kansas who do NOT have the right to vote in Kansas.

How much has it cost the State for Kobach to prosecute a whole 9 illegal voters, 8 of whom were white male Republicans?

Bob Summers 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You and Liberals like yourself colluding with criminal trespassers, giving them sanctuary, and opposing voter identification is certainly not patriotic.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I am with Kobach, only I think we need a federal voter ID law.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Keep up, Charles. They are discussing requiring birth certificates to register, not showing an id when you vote. If you have to order a birth certificate it costs money, unless you were born in Kansas, and then they are suppose to give it to you for free.

So you don't want' to require training for guns, because then people will little money couldn't be licensed to own a gun, but you want people to have to get a copy of the birth certificate to vote?

And there are still people alive who were born at home. You were happy that an elderly woman who had voted all her life in Missouri, had to gather a bunch of information and go before a tribunal to prove that she is a citizen, just because she was born at home, and didn't get a birth certificate?

And about the id's? How many counties in how many states have a wonderful clerk like ours who will go to nursing homes and to home bound people to create a state id, so they can vote?

Now, where is Kobach's proof. I can say that Republicans are cheating in the election, because it's the only way Brownback won the last election, but I would need proof, wouldn't I.

Bob Summers 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You are colluding with criminal trespassers.


Kathy Roberts 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Voter Registration stopped 18K illegal aliens from voting in Roswell. KKKobach is a KKKonspiracy theorist with a mission that includes a hidden agenda.

Ralph Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Kobach has one simple goal, to deny people the right to vote; and he will go to any lengths to reach that goal.

IMHO, if he could, KKK Kobach would reinstate the following and more:

  • a literacy test at both the polls and when registering
  • a poll tax
  • documentation requirements so onerous that it's impossible to register to vote

@Bob Summers. You never have anything to add that's germane to any discussion. You and others like you do little more than to poison the waters here. Quit being such a POS or go sit at the children's table until the adults are done with the discussion.

@Charles Bloss. Why are you with Kobach other than simply because he's a hard right Republican?

Scott Burkhart 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This is just an inflammatory post with no basis in truth. Rhetoric like "KKK" and the big three voting requirements are knee jerk reactions that are made up out of whole cloth. There is a lawsuit pending in the State of Pennsylvania alleging that 100,000 non citizens are registered to vote. Whether you want to admit it or not, law like the motor-voter registration are rife for abuse by those that want to game the system. Democrats are running around with their hair on fire that the Russians tampered in the 2016 General Election because they can't believe an orange reality tv star kicked Hillary's butt, but they don't want to ensure that only ELIGIBLE voters are voting in our elections.

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Remember that Ralph and Dot are married.

They have the same hysterical hyperbolic M.O.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Charles apparently wants to go to having a federal id, instead of state ids. We are soon only going to be able to fly with a special driver's license or with our passports, as if we were going to another country, not another state. Maybe you should have to show your papers before you can even enter a city. You can put up outposts on each highway, and stop everyone.

Kobach has suppressed more votes than he has stopped fraud. That's his real purpose. He is a traitor to our system of government. When I first registered, I signed a paper that said I was a US citizen, and it explained to me that I would be guilty of perjury if I lied. It's Kobach's job to investigate anyone who lied, not stop those who didn't lie from voting. Just because he is a liar, doesn't mean everyone is. But that's the conservative way isn't it? They lie, cheat and steal, and commit adultery, so everyone must be like that.

Greg Cooper 2 months, 2 weeks ago

And that, Dorothy, is the main issue here: the United States requires one to affirm citizenship prior to voting, not prove it. The law makes clear provision for investigating and prosecuting voting fraud, and there is no need to amplify that law. This whole thing is nothing but a Regressive tactic meant to stir up the base who will believe any conspiracy theory put forth by its "leaders" that implies loss of rights by one group because of the made-up lie of massive voter fraud. If Kobach would simply do his job and refer suspected cases of voter fraud to the proper judicial branch, the state would spend less money and waste less time finding out that the massive fraud he made up is not even a minor issue.

Scott< it might be instructive for you to think a bit outside your preconceived notions. That the state requires people to buy copies of identification they might not have is another form of a poll tax, which has been ruled unconstitutional time and again. Oh, yeah, and Hillary lost the election. Yours seems to be the only "side" that keeps bringing that little node of information to the fore. It's time to drop that argument, as it means no more today than it did the day after the election.

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Kobach is pushing Koch sponsored voter suppression because that is the only way Anti American group known as American Legislative Exchange Council can win elections. Voter suppression has been going on for at least 38 years because USA voters fail to believe it can happen in America.

Voter suppression is illegal and and being pursued under the Voter ID discussion.

American Legislative Exchange Council is a libertarian party yet run for office as republicans. Why do republicans vote for libertarians the party that represents fascism?

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why would voters want the Koch boys and their associates to own America?

Who wants to work for less money?

Who wants to pay more for medical insurance?

Who wants to pay higher taxes?

Who have declared war on voting rights?

Why do women want to sacrifice their rights?

  1. "Koch network to spend $400 million during 2018 midterm election cycle," The Hill, January 27, 2018

  2. "How the Koch brothers plan to keep America red in November," CBS News, January 29, 2018

  3. "Billionaire Koch brothers to spend $400m in attempt to thwart Democrat surge in midterms," The Independent, January 30, 2018

  4. "How the Koch brothers plan to keep America red in November," CBS News, January 29, 2018

  5. "Are Democrats Winning The Race For Congress?"

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Don't let Kobach or any other bogus republican take away YOUR voting rights!!!

Republicans ARE directly tied to the emerging trend among state legislatures to consider voter ID laws thus VOTER SUPPRESSION.

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, Koch's model “Voter ID Act” grants an electoral advantage to Republicans while undermining the right to vote.

In addition, Koch money 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.

RJ Johnson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You need an ID to do anything these days. You will be required to have a ID to vote. End of story. Kobach has my vote!

Kendall Simmons 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why would you vote for a man who steals the votes from legally registered voters??? Because THAT is what he does. He's prosecuted and had them found guilty a whole 9 people, 8 of whom are white male Republicans. Why should 22,000 voters be denied their legal right to vote for 9 people???

RJ Johnson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Nobody is denning anybody the right to vote. You have to have an ID to get welfare, a drivers license, a passport, a firearm, to fly, to ride a train, to take a cruise, to go to school, a job, and a loan. You can not survive without a ID in the United States! So what is the problem?

Mike Riner 2 months, 2 weeks ago

"He's prosecuted and had them found guilty a whole 9 people, 8 of whom are white male Republicans..." HAD THEM FOUND GUILTY? Just how did he do that? You give him way too much credit (btw, I'm NOT a Kobach fan)

Cille King 2 months, 2 weeks ago

RJ Johnson. This lawsuit has nothing to do with an ID. It is about having to provide a birth certificate, passport, naturalization document or similar proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The "show me your papers" law has kept over 22,000 citizens from registering to vote since it was implemented in January 2013. You probably were grandfathered onto the voter rolls, in which case, you never had to provide your papers.

Ken Lassman 2 months, 1 week ago

Thank you for interjecting facts into this discussion now and again, Cille. Hope springs eternal!

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Who is pushing and funding voter suppression? Trump is a soldier....

How many VOTERS have been purged from the voting rolls?

Check your status frequently.

Voters PROTECT Your Right To Vote = ORGANIZE A VOTING DAY PACKET to include:

--- a birth certificate

--- a drivers license or state ID card

--- proof of voter registration

--- Military Discharge Papers

--- Passports

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

Do it today in case it is discovered one or more of the above cannot be found. None of these are difficult to replace. But will take time.

Bob Summers 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The colluding of the congenital Liberal with the criminal trespassers is unprecedented.

Michael Kort 2 months, 2 weeks ago

And how many more years will it be before the computer system at the DMV will be able to talk with the one at the SOSs' office ?.........did you ever wonder if that was a State Computer system that was not supposed to ever work..........ON PURPOSE ? ? ?

The State under Brownie and Kobach have been at their imagined computer network creation for the DMV and SOSs' office for years,.......just throw more money at it and then announce the next magical date of completion that will never come to be because it was never meant to work to begin with .

Michael Kort 2 months, 2 weeks ago

If it hisses and rattles often in public,..... it is usually him out ! ! ! Send him packing to his just deserves .

Michael Kort 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe Kobach The Great ? prosecutor of voter fraud ( he did catch 14 senile REPUBLICANS and one self reporting foreigner who was in the process of trying to becoming an American Citizen ......wonder if he was paid $ before being deported ) ( all of which cost Kansans how many millions of $ dollars to catch the GRAND CRIMINAL EMPIRE OF ALL 15 ILLEGAL VOTERS OVER SEVERAL YEARS ?............answer.........anyone......editor ? )

Steve King 2 months, 2 weeks ago

So, it's 0.007%. Wow. People seem to forget when Kobach put this rule in place he promised it would be seamless with documentation sent from the DL Bureau up to Topeka but, the software crashed. The DL Bureau stopped the program but Kobach kept it going, without the DL input. That's underhanded.

Can't wait for the court to have him document that 18,000. Dudes already been held in contempt and fined. Defend that Conservative Condition.

Geoff Ermlap 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Pure fiction. Kobach has deported common tax paying mothers and assets to our community and broken up families for sole purpose of making his and his ilk's false narrative. Selfish and downright evil. Kobach is the real blight on our society

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I regret I am limited to only $2000 in campaign donations to Kobach for the primary.

He will make a great governor.

Ray Mizumura 2 months, 2 weeks ago

If you like Steve Bannon, you'll love Kris Kobach.

Calvin Anders 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Kris is learning from the Trumpster. He is learning that among his base credibility is over rated. His base would much rather hear hyperbole that reinforces their twisted version of reality than examine claims of a perceived ally with even the faintest skepticism. Kris is learning that, to a large extent, the more exaggerated and ridiculous a claim is, the better it will play with his faithful. His base would much rather have an axe to grind than worry about what is real and what is fantasy. Say what you will about Kris, but he does stick to his story, no matter how much evidence there is that he is wrong.

Bruce Weber 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Koback was repremand and fined 1,000. for "misleading the courts" Koback was caught defrauding Douglas Co. by building a 2 bedroom house inside a bard permitted as ag. reprecussions....A fine candidate for the GOP

Richard Heckler 2 months, 1 week ago

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Federal Voter Registration Form in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), a case on the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

Surprisingly, the judge in Kobach did not follow the roadmap laid out by the Supreme Court to challenge their decision on the NVRA, and instead sought to reopen the question of federal preemption in regards to the Federal Form.

In response to the disappointing decision in Kobach, the League has joined with our voting rights partners and filed an appeal challenging the ruling. While we’re waiting for the appeal to be accepted and heard, we’ve also filed a motion to stay the decision to prevent Kansas and Arizona from requiring documentary proof of citizenship while the courts continue to consider this issue.

The League is represented in this case by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, as well as pro bono counsel Kirkland & Ellis LLP and David G. Seely of the law firm Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch, LLC.

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