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Kobach promotes Voter Registration Kit on National Voter Registration Day; doesn't mention problem of voters in 'suspense'


Topeka — It's National Voter Registration Day and like secretaries of state across the nation, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday encouraged people to register to vote.

But Kobach made no mention of the more than 17,000 Kansans whose voter registrations are on hold because of the proof-of-citizenship requirement that he fought to get into law. The law took effect in January.

Instead, Kobach, in a news release, promoted a 14-page Voter Registration Kit that details requirements to register to vote in Kansas.

The booklet can be downloaded at www.gotVoterID.com.

The booklet contains information about the proof of citizenship requirement for new voters, methods for delivering paper or digital copies of citizenship documents to county election officials, and contact information for those officials.

"We are pleased to offer a new portable tool to help civic organizations, parties and agencies to facilitate voter registration," Kobach said. "I encourage all United States citizens who are 18 years of age or older to register to vote if they haven’t already. And people who have moved should make sure their voter registration records are updated with their current address information," he said.

Kobach has said the proof of citizenship requirement is needed to prevent undocumented immigrants from voting. Voting rights advocates say the requirement is unnecessary because seldom does an undocumented immigrant try to vote, and it is a hardship for some people, such as the elderly, who have trouble getting their birth certificates to prove citizenship.

The American Civil Liberties Union has threatened to file a lawsuit over the growing number of voter registrations in "suspense."


ENVIROPEACE 4 years, 5 months ago

So, Kobach was incredibly concerned about 7 cases of voter fraud, but when he has 14,000 voters who are stuck in "limbo" it's not worthy of mention? Shocking...

Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 5 months ago

Kansas voters can be on hold for years Analysis of state data shows more than 21,500 people are in limbo not 14,000

blindrabbit 4 years, 5 months ago

I'll bet that there are two Voter Registration Kits, one for GOP'ers and T-Baggers written in plain English and one for the rest written in Pig Latin, Sanskrit or some other obscure language to obfuscate the voting process. I'm sure the system was approved by Brownie, Rove and blessed by the Koch-a-Kolas.

thinkagain 4 years, 5 months ago

A 14 page instruction booklet on how to register to vote? And Brownback wants SMALLER government?!?!

avarom 4 years, 5 months ago

There's an old joke about voting.....let's pretend voting day is today.....So, How do you keep a voter in Suspense.......................................................You tell him voting day is Tomorrow!

Fossick 4 years, 5 months ago

"Kobach made no mention of the more than 17,000 Kansans whose voter registrations are on hold because of the proof-of-citizenship requirement that he fought to get into law"

What is there to say? That's a serious question. What, precisely, does Mr. Rothschild expect that the SecState ought to say in regards to the .1% (17,000 out about 1.7 million registered) who have attempted to register to vote but have not met the qualifications of the law?

chootspa 4 years, 5 months ago

Many of them have met the qualifications of the law and had proof of citizenship on hand, but the software at the DMV cannot handle this change in state law. What can he say about that, indeed.

Fossick 4 years, 5 months ago

"Many of them have met the qualifications"

How many exactly?

chootspa 4 years, 5 months ago

Potentially every person who registered at the DMV.

tomatogrower 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure there are more than 1, but 1 is too many.

chootspa 4 years, 5 months ago

I think we can safely say it's several times the number of people suspected of casting a fraudulent vote.

onemansopinion 4 years, 5 months ago

Fossick, if there is a problem with the system, fix the system. What does it matter if it is 1 voter or 17,000? A denial of one person's right to vote hurts everyone, if if you don't like how they would vote.

The fact that the Secretary of State argued for the law that created this issue means, in addition to his job title and duties, he has a moral imperative to see it resolved. It's a concept called governance, something those on the right seem to have lost grasp of since 2008.

Fossick 4 years, 5 months ago

"What does it matter if it is 1 voter or 17,000?"

It does not matter when it comes to voting. It matters quite a bit when reporters take it upon themselves to make the news by discussing what a politicians did not say - what the reporter thinks he should have said, instead of what he did say.

It's no different than Fox News reporting, "Hillary Clinton gives a speech, doesn't mention Bengazi," and then goes on to talk for half the article about Behgazi instead of Hillary's speech. Begazi is, in that case, an imposition on the news: it is making and molding news rather than reporting it. It is very poor form, and just about everyone (except those chanting Beghazi all the time) will say, you know, there are other things to talk about. Hillary does not have to address other people's hobby horses every day.

Kobach does not have to talk about what Mr. Rothschild wants him to talk about all the time, and it's not news when he does not, it's simply Mr. Rothschild imposing on the news.

chootspa 4 years, 5 months ago

Kobach promoting a voter registration kit while ignoring the voter registration problems he helped create is a legitimate thing to mention. If Hillary Clinton gave a recent report on embassy safety without mentioning Benghazi, that would also be worthy of mention. If she was talking about non-communicable disease, it would not be. If Kobach gave a speech about immigration but didn't mention flaws in voter registration, it would also not be worthy of mention. Notice the pattern.

Fossick 4 years, 5 months ago

Lol. Someone ought to tell the Emporia Gazette, who managed to get through the entire story without mentioning the problems a single time. Their editors are really down on the job. Someone needs to tell them that not mentioning a problem in every press release is 'ignoring' it.

Did you read the press release? If so, would you explain to us exactly where it might have fit into the information being presented?

chootspa 4 years, 5 months ago

Yes. They really have fallen from grace since the William Allen White days. I suspect it's hard to keep quality journalists happy enough to live in that little bucolic paradise.

Lazy reporters use the press release as the source for the story. Good reporters treat it as the starting point. Bad reporters plagiarize it without citation.

Fossick 4 years, 5 months ago

And hacks use it to report not-news that didn't happen and that add nothing to the public's knowledge.

Fossick 4 years, 5 months ago

Yes, if there's a problem with the system, fix it. Kobach, as SecState, may even have a moral imperative to see that the software people at the DMV get their code fixed. As a software professional, I can tell you that having him walking the halls checking on it every hour - as some seem to expect - will not speed the process.

But I mention the Emporia paper for one reason. The inclusion of the un-mention in this article is not as objective an item as Chootspa makes it. Professionals leave it in, professionals leave it out. It is a subjective decision.

Emporia wrote a story based on the press release. LJW used a story based on the press release to illustrate what the reporter thinks is a shortcoming or exclusion in that press release, a software issue in a separate part of state government that, while highly embarrassing (else it would not be so gleefully embraced here), affects .1% of voters and is not logically related to the contents of the press release.

If the issue is excluded from the next press release on Kansas government IT issues, I'll agree with Chootspa. Until then, I'll continue to slice Mr. Rothschild's articles into news and opinion. I read the news, and it only takes about 1/2 the time as before.

chootspa 4 years, 5 months ago

So you're not questioning the facts of the story and are instead classifying it as "opinion" because it didn't take dictation from the press release. I see. Also it turns out that not every paper in the state runs exactly the same story. Obviously, as a "software professional" you're a great authority on journalism.

Nobody said Kobach had to check on the software every, hour, but he could have delayed implementation of the law - the law he insisted on passing - until the software was ready to handle it. Instead, he's insisted on policies that leave thousands of eligible voters disenfranchised - possibly illegally.

Fossick 4 years, 5 months ago

"Nobody said Kobach had to check on the software every, hour"

No, but apparently he must every press release. That's fine, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and all that. So I await with bated breath the Rothschild story that notes that Obama, though he mentioned ACA today, did not mention the computer problems that accompanied its rollout, denying millions the opportunity to enroll. Waiting...waiting...

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