Kansas Dem Argues New Voter ID Law Will Deny More “Legitimate” Votes Than Catch Fraudulent Votes

ANDY MARSO/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach testifies on new voter ID laws Monday in the House Elections Committee.

What is it about voter integrity laws that get Democrats so nervous?  Why do they think their constituents will be disproportionately affected by the simple requirements of proof of citizenship and picture IDs?

Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, appeared before the KS House Elections Committee, Monday, in the first leg of a three-day tour to update lawmakers and the public on the photo ID voting laws he spearheaded. A Democrat legislator from Topeka, Ann Mah, was harshly critical of of the new regulations in the the S.A.F.E. Act, which was passed in the Kansas Senate, last March with a large bi-partisan majority (36-3).

CJ Online reported on the the Clash between Kobach and Mah.

On Monday, she asked Kobach if there would be any provisions for determining the number of voters rejected for not having a valid photo ID.

Mah said she expects the 41 instances of possible fraud Kobach said he uncovered in the 2010 election will “pale in comparison” to the number of legal voters turned away with a provisional ballot.

“It’s gonna be way out of whack,” Mah said. “That’s my guess. I’d be willing to put a $5 bill down on it, but in November we’ll be able to see the data if we capture the data and do the analysis on it.”

Kobach said there’s nothing in the regulations that requires that, but his office is collecting the data anyway.

***

The new law that Kobach wants moved up is the one that requires people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship. It is scheduled to take effect in January 2013, and Kobach wants to make it effective June 15.

Kobach said the first test of the photo ID law, a local election in Cimarron, was wildly successful. He said voter turnout was nearly 40 percent and of the almost 500 people who showed up to vote, only one did not have a photo ID. Kobach said that woman intentionally did not bring her ID to “make a statement” about her opposition to the requirement.

Rep. Melody McCray-Miller, D-Wichita, asked Kobach if Cimarron was a valid “test run” given that historically the groups most disenfranchised by voting laws are racial and ethnic minorities.

“Cimarron does not look like Wichita and it certainly doesn’t look like Kansas City, Kansas, and I know it doesn’t look like Hutchinson,” McCray-Miller said.

According to the 2010 census, 84 percent of Gray County residents are white and non-Hispanic, versus 78 percent throughout the state. The largest disparity between the county and the state comes in its African-American population, which is 0.4 percent compared to 5.9 percent throughout the state.

The argument coming from Democrats really seems to be that minorities are not as capable as whites at getting picture I.D.s. If I were a minority, I think I’d be insulted. While Democrats worry about hypothetical disenfranchisement,  real cases of voter fraud in the state go unprosecuted.

Mah said she wanted to talk more in the future about the 41 allegedly fraudulent votes in 2010, which she said included double-voting by “snowbirds” and felons who may have regained their voting rights.

Kobach said he referred all 41 cases to prosecutors, but none have been acted on yet.

“For whatever reason it often gets put to the bottom of the stack,” he said. “I hope that all 41 are (prosecuted), but at this point it has not happened.”

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62 Responses to “Kansas Dem Argues New Voter ID Law Will Deny More “Legitimate” Votes Than Catch Fraudulent Votes”

  1. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    He said voter turnout was nearly 40 percent and of the almost 500 people who showed up to vote, only one did not have a photo ID. Kobach said that woman intentionally did not bring her ID to “make a statement” about her opposition to the requirement.

    A statement…*snort*.

    Yes, the statement is that she was so incensed at meeting the very simple requirement of proving that the correct person was exercising her right to vote that she was willing to disenfranchise herself.

    If the Kansas Republican Party can encourage such behavior among the Democratic Party and the stupid, the next election should be really good for them.

  2. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    If I were a minority, I think I’d be insulted.

    Nahhh. It’s racist to not be down with that blatant paternalism.

  3. Nancy Barnes Says:

    All legal drivers already have photo ID, so all of the people affected by photo-ID laws are non-drivers. This creates an undue hardship for people who lack transportation when the nearest place to get a valid, state issued photo-ID is miles away. Toss in state budget cuts, and the BMV locations in areas with less drivers are the first to be eliminated, thus creating an even greater hardship for non-drivers who must get their photo-ID at a BMV. Now the Democrats argue all sorts of nonsense… but they don’t argue the obvious: photo-ID laws discriminate against non-drivers, including disabled Americans like me.

  4. Nice Deb Says:

    Just as people do in obtaining a driver’s license, all you have to do is visit a driver’s license exam station for your ID.. You can apply at any station, regardless of where in Kansas you reside.

    I’m sorry, this is not an undue burden by any stretch of the imagination. If you can make it to the voting booth, surely you can make the trip to the nearest driver’s license station.

  5. wdednh Says:

    Reblogged this on YOU DECIDE.

  6. orthocon Says:

    Which is racist:
    1) requiring that voters, regardless of race, have picture id’s or
    2) saying that minorities are too stupid to obtain a picture id?

  7. Nice Deb Says:

    That’s what I keep saying.

  8. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    but they don’t argue the obvious: photo-ID laws discriminate against non-drivers, including disabled Americans like me

    How do you cash a check without ID?

    I looked it up. This incredible burden in Kansas means going to the driver’s license testing stations and plunking down $18 and two approved proof of identity documents.

    Its good for 6 years, and then you can renew it by going back to the driver’s license testing station and doing it again.

    That isn’t much for proving that you are the correct person exercising the most fundamental of rights.

  9. Carlos Says:

    The $18 could be a burden to some, I suppose. I wonder how they cash checks, though? Maybe they get paid “under the table,” hmmm? Or how they open bank accounts, so their checks from whatever source can be direct-deposited?

    And if a bank wouldn’t open an account for such a person, can you imagine how fast our favorite race-baiters would be there? Nah, the discrimination thing just doesn’t fly, especially when one considers how stupid the Democrat overlords really think minorities are.

  10. Texas Sues USA Over Photo ID Voting Law | Courthouse News Service | David Lee | 1/24/12 | Vinh P. Su, Esquire Says:

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  11. Anonymous Says:

    Depending on where you live in Kansas, the closest full-service DL station might easily be sixty miles or more away, one way. If you don’t drive in the first place, exactly how easy is it to pop on over for your ID?

    And the argument about minorities is squarely based on the fact that minorities are more likely to be poor, and the poor as a group are a lot more likely to lack ID, precisely because IDs cost money. If you don’t *need* ID in your day-to-day life (and with direct deposit, debit cards, etc., a lot of people don’t), why spend scarce monies on one?

  12. Nice Deb Says:

    Depending on where you live in Kansas, the closest full-service DL station might easily be sixty miles or more away, one way. If you don’t drive in the first place, exactly how easy is it to pop on over for your ID?

    Isn’t that an issue for every Kansas citizen whether they’re getting their driver’s license or an ID? Are Kansans up in arms about this unfair burden put on people in order to get drivers licenses? Because if they are, I haven’t heard about it.
    I suggest you have the person who would drive you to your polling station, take you to the DL station so you can get your ID. You can offer to pay them for the gas, and make a nice day trip out of it.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    No, Nice Deb, it’s not an issue for “every Kansas citizen.” If you CAN drive, then driving 20 miles, or 60, is not likely to be a great burden. It becomes a burden if you CANNOT drive, but if you cannot drive, you probably haven’t needed to go to the driver’s license station until now. And your advice about “the person who would drive you to your polling station” is simply silly: there is no point in Kansas that is 60 miles from a polling station, and for a great many Kansans (in some counties, half of all voters), the “polling station” is their living room, because they vote absentee. Now, how do you get a photo ID absentee? Answer: you don’t.

  14. Nice Deb Says:

    Kansas citizens cannot get a drivers’ license until they are at least 16 years old, at which time someone has to drive them to the DL station, right? Why is there not an outcry?

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Those applying for an instruction permit (which you can do at 14 in this state) don’t need a full-service DL station, which by itself drops the distance considerably–only 41 counties have full-service stations, but 104 have limited service. If you’re young and going for a DL, you probably don’t have major disabilities restricting your movements. Most teenage drivers getting an instruction permit are required to have at least one parent accompany them to the DMV anyway, to give consent, and relatively few will not have at least one parent who drives.

    Now compare that to an elderly or disabled person. Depending on their circumstances, they may or may not need a full-service station, but they may well have significant physical restrictions that make travel difficult, and they are a lot more likely to live alone (as opposed to having another household member with a license).

    You are comparing dissimilar situations. You are also comparing a privilege (driving) to a right (voting). Many privileges impose burdens, but why should a civil right?

  16. Nice Deb Says:

    Many privileges impose burdens,why should a civil right?
    In order to protect the integrity of your vote. Do want your vote canceled out by a fraudulent one? If you’re voting Democrat, I guess that’s not really a concern, is it? Well it’s a huge concern for me, I vote Republican, and I’m sick and tired of knowing that we have to win every race decisively or lose through fraud.
    Your concern isn’t the fraudulent registrations leading to fraudulent votes in your state.

    It’s the one two disabled shut-ins in the state who apparently have no one, not one person in their lives who can drive them to the DL station. I find that frankly hard to believe.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    My concern is that an election in which one legitimate voter is prevented from casting a ballot is no more legitimate than an election in which an illegitimate voter casts a ballot. If you show up at the polls and are prevented from voting because the election worker doesn’t like your paperwork, are you still going to consider the election to have integrity?

    REAL people have been denied IDs or the right to vote for sometimes very silly reasons. Read about Mario Marroquin, a lifelong resident of Texas and a disabled Vietnam veteran. His government, our government, thought his long-form birth certificate was sufficient to get him into the military, but it’s not good enough to get him a passport. Silvario Vasquez, a long-time Border Patrol agent, can’t get a passport either–he was delivered by a midwife, so his Texas birth certificate is not acceptable proof of citizenship. Thelma Mitchell of Tennessee, aged 93, was told last month she’s not eligible for a state ID and won’t be able to vote–she cleaned the state capitol for 30 years, but she was born in rural Alabama before birth certificates were universal. 96-year-old Dorothy Cooper of Chattanooga hasn’t yet managed to get photo ID, either, because she’s hasn’t been able to produce her marriage licenses–she’s outlived two husbands. Ruthelle Frank of Wisconsin, who’s been voting since Truman headed the ballot, can get a photo ID just as soon as she coughs up $200 for a corrected birth certificate (there’s a misspelling in her records). These are but a handful of American citizens who could lose the franchise. Note that these are all people for whom a ride to the DMV will accomplish absolutely nothing.

    Now, where are your examples of illegals voting?

  18. Nice Deb Says:

    where are your examples of illegals voting?
    Spoken like a political operative who knows full well that in our system, actual cases of voter fraud are hard to prove once votes have been cast.

    Yet year after year we see examples of massive error and abuse of the type that leads to election/voter fraud. The actual cases that have been prosecuted are only the tip of the iceberg. Former ACORN employee, current whistleblower, Anita Moncreif could tell you some stories.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122533169940482893.html
    http://rottenacorn.com/activityMap.html

    Ever wonder how a guy like Al Franken got elected in MN? Look no further:

    http://www.minnesotamajority.org/TheIssues/ElectionIntegrity/tabid/188/Default.aspx

    A case is being tried in upstate NY as we speak that shows how Democrats use fraud as “an accepted political tactic.”

    http://mentalrecession.blogspot.com/2012/01/upstate-new-york-republicans-deny-that.html

    I think bureaucratic inefficiencies that lead to some people falling through the cracks should be fixed. But you don’t do that by removing all chances for an honest election. Why even bother to register to vote if you can’t count on the integrity of the vote?

  19. geoff Says:

    Hey, guess what?

    Dorothy Cooper got her ID. And she said: “I wanted my ID with a picture on it,” Cooper said. “So many places I go ask me for it.”

    Duh. Seems like she should have taken care of it some time ago.

    How about Thelma? “A spokesman for the House Republican Caucus insisted that Mitchell was given bad information and should’ve been allowed to vote, even with an expired state ID.”

    So that was a mistake by the system which you’re chalking up an inherent flaw in the system. Untrue.

    Then there’s Ruthelle Frank who has been living with an incorrect birth record for 84 years. Now she can’t abide the mistake (on a name she doesn’t use anymore) and it might cost her $180 of the $200 you mentioned to correct. Otherwise she can get the State ID for a mere $20.

    Silvario Vasquez wasn’t denied the right to vote, nor was Mario Marroquin, so they’re not really relevant.

    The bottom line is this: The problem with Voter ID laws lies with the current ID system, not with the laws themselves. It’s going to take a while to shake out the bugs with the ID system (as with the ACLU lawsuit against Wisconsin on behalf of Ruthelle Frank). So stop protesting the law and start pressuring states to improve their ID systems.

  20. geoff Says:

    Now, where are your examples of illegals voting?

    How would we know? Which is the point.

  21. geoff Says:

    But here’s an example from Colorado:

    In last year’s Senate race nearly 5000 illegal aliens cast their vote in the election.

    The revelation comes from Colorado Secretary of State, Scott Gessler. Testifying before the House Administration Committee, Gessler said his department conducted a study comparing the state’s voter registration database against driver’s license records.

    After doing so they discovered 12,000 illegal aliens living in the state who were registered to vote. Of these, 5,000 actually cast votes in the last election.

  22. Nice Deb Says:

    That’s insane. Are they trying to clean up the voter rolls in CO?

  23. geoff Says:

    Not so far as I can tell.

    I’m just wondering how all these people who are so fervent about protecting the tiny minority of people who don’t have, or can’t easily get, an ID, feel about protecting the rights of the majority. We’re all supposedly guaranteed a full vote as a citizen of the US. When ineligible people vote, it devalues the votes of the citizens.

    I’d like some guarantee that my vote is getting its full value, but the anti-ID crowd doesn’t seem to care about my rights.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    “Gessler arrived at his numbers by obtaining the driver’s license numbers for people who acknowledged that they were noncitizens but proved they were lawfully in the United States when they sought and received the licenses. He then compared those license numbers to driver numbers contained on voter registrations and found 11,805 people who were not citizens when they got their licenses but later registered to vote. Of that number, 4,947 voted in November … Gessler acknowledges that at least some of the 4,947 may have become citizens during the years between the time they got a driver’s license and when they registered to vote, but he has taken no steps to contact them or use other available data to find out.” — http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_17789436

    Note that last sentence carefully: Gessler has TAKEN NO STEPS to find out whether these people really are citizens or not. The Big Headline sounds scary: illegals voted! When you actually look at the details, however, even the guy making the claims is not saying that. (The whole “lawfully in the United States” part disposes of the notion that any were illegal in the first place.) This is purely a scare tactic, and you are falling for it hook, line, and sinker. You are reposting the story without asking some basic questions: what does he mean by illegal? how did he determine they’re illegal? is that a reasonable way to figure out who’s allowed to vote and who isn’t?

    Now, try answering those questions.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    @geoff: “Then there’s Ruthelle Frank who has been living with an incorrect birth record for 84 years. Now she can’t abide the mistake (on a name she doesn’t use anymore) and it might cost her $180 of the $200 you mentioned to correct. Otherwise she can get the State ID for a mere $20.”

    Um, no. It’s not that she “can’t abide” her maiden name–her birth record does not contain her legal name correctly spelled. There is no requirement whatsoever that the DMV accept a document with a misspelled name, and indeed substantial reason to suppose they won’t. (Misspellings are one of the markers of fraud and identity theft.) It was the State Vital Records Division who advised her that she could “try” the incorrect birth certificate at the DMV, but would “probably” need to go to court to get it corrected.

    “Silvario Vasquez wasn’t denied the right to vote, nor was Mario Marroquin, so they’re not really relevant.” You miss the point. Both men have birth certificates proving they are Texas natives, and in both cases that document was *not* acceptable proof of citizenship as far as the federal government was concerned. Beginning in 2013, Kansans will be required to prove citizenship; if you cannot use your birth certificate for that purpose, what document will serve as proof?

    The cases of Dorothy Cooper and Thelma Mitchell are hardly shining successes. One elderly woman is told she can’t vote by one government office; a political party spokesperson insists that’s wrong. Another gets ID after multiple tries and with the intercession of the Lt Governor’s office. But it’s just so simple: all you have to do is get somebody to drive you to the DMV one time, right, Deb?

    Now, are they being treated equally to you? Do they deserve to have the same value placed on their votes as on yours? Would the “integrity of the election” be upheld if either or both were not allowed to vote? (For example, maybe the poll manager sides with the Republican caucus, and maybe s/he sides with the DMV. If it’s the DMV, then what?)

  26. Anonymous Says:

    As for the upstate New York ballot fraud, that is indeed a sinister development, but how does it in any way relate to photo ID, or how would photo ID have prevented it?

  27. Nice Deb Says:

    all you have to do is get somebody to drive you to the DMV one time, right, Deb?
    That’s right.
    In SC, extraordinary steps were taken to ensure everyone could get a free ID. Governor Nikki Haley even offered rides. And that still wasn’t good enough for the Holder Justice Dept. It’s almost like people are just finding things to snipe about because they are comfortable with the fraud.

    As for Upstate NY – it’s just one example out of countless examples of what Democrats will do to win elections. Voter ID laws are just one way to combat the fraud.

  28. geoff Says:

    Gessler has TAKEN NO STEPS to find out whether these people really are citizens or not.

    Yawn. I’ve read that argument elsewhere, as if the burden of proof lies with the government. This should not be a case where everybody is assumed to be eligible until proven otherwise – it should be a case where those who prove eligibility are allowed to exercise the rights of citizenship. The fact that the system allows 12,000 aliens to register without proof of citizenship is evidence that some means of verifying citizenship is required.

    You are reposting the story without asking some basic questions: what does he mean by illegal?

    It looks like there was some confusion over that point until his Congressional testimony.

    In 2006 the Department of Revenue began collecting information on the types of documentation provided to establish lawful residence in the state when applying for a license. From 2006 to mid-February 2011, 211,200 drivers licenses were given to non-citizens that showed they were in the state legally. Individuals wishing to register to vote can either apply while getting their license or do so at a later date.

    By comparing the two databases, Gessler’s office discovered 11,805 were non-citizens at the time they obtained their license and then registered to vote at a later date. The number did not include applicants who provided another state driver’s license as proof of legal status. Records showed that almost 42 percent of those non-citizens registered to vote, actually cast ballots in the 2010 election.

    So they weren’t really illegal aliens, but they were likely to be illegal voters.

    There is no requirement whatsoever that the DMV accept a document with a misspelled name, and indeed substantial reason to suppose they won’t

    Save for the fact that there is no official record of the correct spelling, so the correct spelling is whatever she says it is. Ergo, it is her vanity, not necessity, that may force her to cough up the extra $180. But the real question here has nothing to do with voting. The real question is: is it fair to ask somebody to pay $180 to correct a mistake on their birth record?

    Beginning in 2013, Kansans will be required to prove citizenship; if you cannot use your birth certificate for that purpose, what document will serve as proof?

    But you can use your birth certificate as proof. In addition to drivers licenses and passports, Kansas allows a plethora of other options:

    In addition, about a dozen different forms of ID, including birth certificates, adoption papers, military and government IDs, would be accepted as sufficient proof.

    The ultimate point being that the federal passport problem and the states’ voters’ IDs problems are two different animals.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Nice Deb, you missed the point that each and every one of the people I listed had made multiple trips to the DMV, so no, “one trip” doesn’t cut it. Would it give you a warm and fuzzy feeling about the integrity of the election if Thelma Mitchell shows up at the polls and the election judge decides s/he likes the DMV’s interpretation instead of the Republican caucus opinion, so she can’t vote?

    @geoff: The point I was trying to make whooshed right over your head. Why should anyone have to prove they are citizens eligible to vote TO THE DMV? The DMV is not in charge of voting, doesn’t control voter registration, doesn’t really have anything to do with the process, so why are you imputing a burden to the citizen that it is their responsibility to prove their voting eligibility to the folks who pass out driver’s licenses?

    “they were likely to be illegal voters.” No, that’s not his definition. His definition is: a person who registered to drive as a non-citizen and whose citizenship status at the time they voted is unknown to the SOS. Ten to fifteen thousand people are naturalized in Colorado every year; it is reasonable to assume that at least some of those people had DLs prior to being citizens. (You yourself called them “illegal aliens”; they were never illegal, and you’ve got no grounds to have an opinion as to whether they are still aliens.)

    “Save for the fact that there is no official record of the correct spelling, so the correct spelling is whatever she says it is. ” Nope, her birth record and her marriage license have different spellings. As a woman who changed her name upon marriage, she needs BOTH documents to prove her current legal name. That has nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with proving that the woman born in 1927 is the same woman who married Henry Frank.

    And my point about the birth certificates not being acceptable is that if one official government document can be disregarded, can be at the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen deemed unacceptable, there’s nothing that says other similar documents cannot be similarly disregarded. The actual text of the law says, e.g., doesn’t say just “birth certificate”; it specifically calls for “the applicant’s birth certificate that verifies United States citizenship TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COUNTY ELECTION OFFICER OR SECRETARY OF STATE.” [emphasis added] Think of the implications of that last clause.

    Also take a look at that last link you provided: “[Kobach] said Tuesday that his office has an additional 41 cases of fraud from the 2010 election, nearly three-quarters of them involving either felons voting illegally or people casting ballots in two locations.” Would you care to explain how photo ID would affect either? He’s making a great big push for this law, and it turns out it won’t do anything at all for the most common types of voter fraud. Meanwhile, have you seen any push for laws or education or measures to prevent those types of fraud?

  30. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    Many privileges impose burdens, but why should a civil right?

    You mean like my “right to bear arms”? Nooooooooo. No “burdens” imposed there, right?

    Do you believe candidates should be allowed to offer incentives for people to vote, like a direct payment, or free drinks/food?

    How about campaigning at polling places right up to the time voters step into the booth?

    We impose all sorts of “burdens” on the process, and if we can limit those activities to maintain integrity, than why not make sure that the people casting the vote are citizens?

    Kansas doesn’t have a problem with that requirement. They already passed it. This is only an argument about timing. Now why would that be?

  31. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    The actual text of the law says, e.g., doesn’t say just “birth certificate”; it specifically calls for “the applicant’s birth certificate that verifies United States citizenship TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COUNTY ELECTION OFFICER OR SECRETARY OF STATE.” [emphasis added] Think of the implications of that last clause.

    I’m thinking that there is a list of standards that the County Election Officer and the Secretary of State apply are uniform in nature, and that you are loon or someone who has never worked in government if you believe otherwise. Lawsuits are easy to start, and a nuisance to defend.

  32. Nice Deb Says:

    We all agree that there should be less bureaucratic hoops for people to have to jump in order to get a simple ID. You missed the points we made about not sacrificing voter integrity in order to satisfy the concerns of a handful of people who have problems securing an ID.
    Would you care to explain why you’re not concerned that over a third of the fraud votes Kobach has been able to prove could have been prevented with the ID requirement?

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Nice Deb: WHAT proof? Can you name a single case that Kobach has taken to court and proved that someone in Kansas cast a ballot they were not entitled to cast because of false identity, lack of citizenship, or any other reason that you think photo ID would have prevented? Just one, please. Any one will do.

    (Here, I’ll make it easier: can you name a single case that anybody else has taken to court and proved, in Kansas or any adjacent state?)

  34. Nice Deb Says:

    As the article states, Kobach has referred all 41 cases to prosecutors, but none have been acted on yet.

  35. Nice Deb Says:

    Tip of the Iceberg:

    https://nicedeb.wordpress.com/2007/11/06/tip-of-the-iceberg/

    Why does it always seem to be Dems, Anon? And why do Dems always seem to be the ones opposing laws to combat fraud?
    (I think the first question answers the second question.)

  36. Anonymous Says:

    @blackiswhite: yes, I have worked in government, and I’ve seen what goes on. Are you aware that the U.S. State Dept had a policy in place from 2003-2009 that said if you were delivered by a midwife in parts of Texas, California, or New Mexico, an official state-issued birth certificate was not acceptable proof of citizenship? That policy was nice and uniform, and yes, it took a lawsuit to get it stopped. (Castelano v. Clinton, Civil Action M‐08057 in the federal court for the Southern District of Texas, if you want to look it up. )

    Now, are you willing to bet your right to vote in all future elections that some bureaucrat somewhere won’t decide he/she/it doesn’t like the looks of birth certificates from your home state? (Think how many people still don’t believe Obama’s birth certificate, e.g.) A policy that says, “We will not accept computer-generated birth certificates from the State of Hawai’i,” e.g., would be uniform and standardized, and might even survive legal scrutiny. Do you have the money to pursue a federal lawsuit?

  37. geoff Says:

    The DMV is not in charge of voting, doesn’t control voter registration, doesn’t really have anything to do with the process, so why are you imputing a burden to the citizen that it is their responsibility to prove their voting eligibility to the folks who pass out driver’s licenses?

    Ummm, yeah, they do. Ever since 1995:

    The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) (42 U.S.C. § 1973gg), also known as The Motor Voter Act, was signed into effect by United States President Bill Clinton on May 20, 1993, however, compliance did not become mandatory until 1995. The legislation required state governments to allow for registration when a qualifying voter applied for or renewed their driver’s license or applied for social services.

    Not to mention that they normally require proof of legal residency to obtain a drivers license in the first place. At least in Colorado.

    So now you can see that the point that “whooshed right over my head” was a point that displayed no understanding of history or current policy.

  38. geoff Says:

    You yourself called them “illegal aliens”; they were never illegal, and you’ve got no grounds to have an opinion as to whether they are still aliens.

    I already said that there was some confusion in the initial article (which called them illegal aliens) which wasn’t resolved until the Congressional testimony, which clarified how he did his research. Try to keep up. And you have no ground to have an opinion as to whether they are not still aliens. The point is there is no way to tell, and that single fact warrants some ID check at voter registration and at the polls.

    it is reasonable to assume that at least some of those people had DLs prior to being citizens.

    So what? It is reasonable to ask for some assurance that all of those who voted were actually citizens. It’s also reasonable to assume that many of the people who were not registered as aliens had stolen identities. It’s also reasonable to assume that some of the people coming from other states w/DLs, whose citizenship wasn’t checked, were also ineligible to vote.

  39. geoff Says:

    As a woman who changed her name upon marriage, she needs BOTH documents to prove her current legal name.

    Sure, I’ll buy that. So you win – she needs to get her ID situation squared away before she can vote. But it’s still irrelevant – you could complain about anybody who has to pay to get their ID situation fixed for any reason. Did she want a passport? It’s her right to have one, but hey – she needs a consistent birth certificate and marriage license to get one.

    So again, it’s not the voting law that’s the problem, it’s the cost and inconvenience of bureaucracy that’s the problem.

  40. geoff Says:

    He’s making a great big push for this law, and it turns out it won’t do anything at all for the most common types of voter fraud.

    You don’t know if those are the most common types of voter fraud because you don’t check citizenship or IDs. As to double voting, certainly ID checks will help with that. Your ID should only match up with the voter rolls in your precinct.

  41. geoff Says:

    And finally, I’m still waiting to hear how you plan to protect my rights. All I hear so far is “it’s probably not a problem.”

    I derive little comfort from that.

  42. Anonymous Says:

    If none of the cases have been acted on yet, where are the cases “he has been able to prove”? Oops, they don’t exist.

    And just for your reference:
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/aide_to_former_maryland_gop_governor_found_guilty.php
    http://www.indystar.com/article/20111222/NEWS/111222028/Secretary-State-Charlie-White-ineligible-hold-office-judge-rules?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|IndyStar.com
    And then, of course, Newt Gingrich is off the ballot in Virginia because one of his “paid volunteers” committed signature fraud on the qualifying petition; do you not claim Newt as a Republican?
    Several staff members on John Thune’s South Dakota 2004 Senate campaign were convicted of various misdemeanors relating to irregularities in notarizing absentee ballot applications. He’s a Republican, too.
    Mark Jacoby, who headed the GOP’s 2008 voter registration drive in California, pled guilty in 2009 to voter registration fraud. Also in California, multiple people pled guilty in Orange County of changing Democratic voter registrations to Republican–it seems they were paid a bounty by the GOP, so they altered registrations to suit. Shall I go on?

    Election fraud is a problem in this country. Trying to pretend it is solely a *Democratic* problem, however, merely exposes the fact that you haven’t been paying attention, because plenty of people with (R) after their names have been swept up too.

  43. Anonymous Says:

    @geoff: No, the DMV still isn’t in charge of voter registration. NVRA merely requires them to make voter registration available; when they do so, they are no more “in charge” of the process than when the public library has a voter registration drive. Colorado requires proof of legal residency for a DL, and all 11,805 people proved their legal residence, but that’s an entirely separate thing from proof of citizenship. The question remains: why are you asking people to provide proof of *citizenship* to the DMV when all that agency requires for a DL is proof of residency?

    Even you admit it is reasonable to assume that at least some of those people became citizens prior to voting, but Gessler either didn’t make that assumption or chose not to publicize it. That’s my point: it’s buried in the fine print. The big scary headlines were all about illegals voting–those are the articles you undoubtedly read, and you linked to. Months ago, he admitted they weren’t all really illegal, and in fact none of them may have been, so why did you not link to one of the articles explaining that “confusion”? I’ll make a guess that the primary reason you didn’t is because those clarifying articles received but a fraction of the publicity that his big scary headlines did. (And I’ll further guess that if I had not pointed out a “clarification” to you, you’d still be going on about illegals voting. Asking the questions about what he meant and how he did his research should have been your FIRST step.)

    “As to double voting, certainly ID checks will help with that. Your ID should only match up with the voter rolls in your precinct.” Nope, sorry. The cases of double-voting occur because somebody is on two separate voter rolls–their ID matches both. (There is NO requirement that your ID even contain an address, much less that the address be in this precinct. Read the text of the law yourself.)

    As for Ruthelle Franks, she doesn’t want a passport. She wants to vote. She has no inherent legal right to a passport, and certainly no right to have a free passport. However, she does have the right to vote, and per my copy of the Constitution, she cannot be compelled to pay a fee for the privilege of voting. Do you agree or disagree?

    As far as “protecting your rights,” why? What exactly threatens your rights? What steps need to be taken to obviate whatever threat you see without threatening anybody else’s rights? (Or are you attempting to argue that your rights are more important than Ruthelle Frank’s or Thelma Mitchell’s?)

  44. geoff Says:

    Colorado requires proof of legal residency for a DL, and all 11,805 people proved their legal residence, but that’s an entirely separate thing from proof of citizenship.

    Not for citizens. Citizens are also required demonstrate their “lawful presence in the United States,” so they must show a document verifying that they are citizens.

    The question remains: why are you asking people to provide proof of *citizenship* to the DMV when all that agency requires for a DL is proof of residency?

    The question remains: why don’t you find out what the law is before you start guessing? The Colorado DMV requires proof of residency in addition to proof of identity and proof of lawful presence.

    Months ago, he admitted they weren’t all really illegal, and in fact none of them may have been, so why did you not link to one of the articles explaining that “confusion”?

    I did, once I found it. It’s in the 9:46 pm post from yesterday.

    She has no inherent legal right to a passport

    Of course she does:

    United States citizenship confers the right to acquire a U.S. passport

    She doesn’t have the right to get one for free, but we’re talking about the additional cost to secure her rights (i.e., the $200, which I’ll gladly pay for her), not the passport costs.

    As far as “protecting your rights,” why?

    I figured you’d say that. I knew that you didn’t care a whit for my rights.

    What exactly threatens your rights? What steps need to be taken to obviate whatever threat you see without threatening anybody else’s rights? (Or are you attempting to argue that your rights are more important than Ruthelle Frank’s or Thelma Mitchell’s?)

    I am arguing that the vast majority (and I mean vast – the Brennan Center’s 11% number is garbage) of voters risk having the power of their votes diminished by fraudulent voting. Their rights are being completely neglected in your arguments. And yes, I am one of that majority, and I believe that we should do what it takes to get people equipped with proper identification, and then improve our voting system to assure that every legitimate vote is counted correctly in our elections.

    But only legitimate votes.

  45. geoff Says:

    Nope, sorry. The cases of double-voting occur because somebody is on two separate voter rolls–their ID matches both.

    I guess that’s true. Sorry – I’m not used to trying to figure out how to cheat the system.

  46. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    Do you have the money to pursue a federal lawsuit?

    If I am alleging that my right to vote has been infringed, I don’t have to. I just contact the DOJ and THEY will be more than happy to get involved. They have a whole division to handle that.

  47. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    And you still haven’t explained to me why individual states can place restrictions on my right to bear arms but it is an affront to all that is holy to require someone to provide adequate proof of identity before we let them cast a vote.

  48. Nice Deb Says:

    If none of the cases have been acted on yet, where are the cases “he has been able to prove”? Oops, they don’t exist.

    You’re misparsing words – I should have said “identified”. No, obviously, they’ve not yet been proven fraudulent in a court of law. But as I’m sure you know, there are many, many other cases of voter fraud that have come to light after an investigation, but when it’s too late to do anything about it because it’s impossible to find the culprits who voted as dead people or registered to vote using fake names from non existent addresses, and that’s the way I’m guessing you like it.

    Congratulations on being able to google up a small handful of examples of Republican election fraud. We both know that if the bulk of election/voter fraud were on Republican side – you’d be right with us on voter integrity laws.

  49. geoff Says:

    And then, of course, Newt Gingrich is off the ballot in Virginia because one of his “paid volunteers” committed signature fraud on the qualifying petition; do you not claim Newt as a Republican?

    Actually, while initial reports were that it was an individual associated with his campaign, it turns out that it was a firm they hired to collect the signatures:

    Gingrich’s campaign told state officials it had submitted 11,050 signatures. But a Richmond area firm hired to collect them turned in 1,500 signatures that appeared to be signed by the same person.

    “We hired somebody who turned in false signatures,’’ Gingrich told reporters late last month while campaigning in Iowa. “We turned in 11,100 – we needed 10,000 – 1,500 of them were by one guy who frankly committed fraud.”

    Several staff members on John Thune’s South Dakota 2004 Senate campaign were convicted of various misdemeanors relating to irregularities in notarizing absentee ballot applications.

    Exactly. They were convicted, and rightly so, because you couldn’t be certain of the integrity of the vote. We should have similar safeguards for poll voting.

    Mark Jacoby, who headed the GOP’s 2008 voter registration drive in California, pled guilty in 2009 to voter registration fraud.

    Mark Jacoby is also not part of the GOP – he was an independent contractor hired to register voters.

    The Schurick case is abominable, though it doesn’t represent the kind of fraud we’re concerned with here.

    The Charlie White case is pretty small beer.

    Election fraud is a problem in this country. Trying to pretend it is solely a *Democratic* problem, however, merely exposes the fact that you haven’t been paying attention, because plenty of people with (R) after their names have been swept up too.

    So let’s have stronger safeguards, including photo IDs to verify voters’ identities.

  50. Anonymous Says:

    @geoff: your continued arguments about the Colorado DMV show that you *don’t* understand the law and the issues there. “The Colorado DMV requires proof of residency in addition to proof of identity and proof of lawful presence.” Yep, and each and every one of the 11,805 provided that. However, there is NO evidence that any of the stories I’ve seen or you’ve linked to that any of them registered to vote *at the DMV,* so we’re back to asking why you expect people to provide proof of citizenship at the DMV? It is *not* required for a DL, which is the business most people transact there. What you are expecting is that Mr. So-and-So obtains a DL at the DMV as a noncitizen, subsequently gets naturalized, and then goes back to the DMV to say, “see? now I’m a citizen! I don’t need a new DL, because there is no difference between a citizen and noncitizen DL, and I haven’t moved, but I needed to show you this.” I don’t understand why are you expecting that–please explain.

    Yes, you did link to a clarifying post, AFTER I POINTED OUT THE PROBLEM. If you knew that the people were not illegals before my post, why did you not provide that link in your first post? Why link to something that has outdated and inaccurate information, unless (1) you didn’t know, or (2) you didn’t care?

    The whole foundation of American democracy and our Bill of Rights is based on the notion that the rights of the minority are worth protecting. You are arguing the opposite: the rights of the majority are more important than the voter rights of people like Ruthelle Frank or Thelma Mitchell. Sorry, I disagree. I believe the EVERYBODY’s rights are equally important here, so how do we protect the rights of the Ruthelles and Thelmas without infringing upon yours? We’ve already seen their rights imperiled–we’ve got actual proof of that. Now, where’s the proof that yours are being infringed? The evidence we’ve got so far of your rights being diminished (felons voting, absentee vote fraud, double-voting, even the current scandal in upstate New York) does not lend support to photo ID laws.

    What, exactly, is wrong with “do[ing] what it takes to get people equipped with proper identification” BEFORE allowing the voting rights of those with ID to be disturbed?

  51. Anonymous Says:

    @blackiswhite: “If I am alleging that my right to vote has been infringed, I don’t have to. I just contact the DOJ and THEY will be more than happy to get involved. They have a whole division to handle that.”

    You are joking, right? The DOJ Civil Rights Division works for the Attorney General, who works for the President. If the president believes a law or policy really does infringe, then yes, the DOJ will get involved. If the President supports the policy or law, then you can contact the DOJ all you’d like and just see how far it gets you. Right now, Obama is a pretty firm supporter of widespread voter rights, so he’s got an activist DOJ. Some previous presidents have had pretty somnolent civil rights sections, so you could quite easily find yourself fighting on your own.

    Look at the example I posted earlier of the passport problems: it wasn’t the DOJ that filed suit, it was the ACLU. When Indiana voters thought that state’s laws infringed their right to vote, it wasn’t the DOJ that filed suit there either.

    On that subject, note, too, that the Indiana litigation does NOT necessarily uphold the constitutionality of all such laws, because the Supreme Court explicitly said as much. Indiana allows voters to execute an affidavit that they don’t have and can’t afford ID (or meet various other exemptions), and then their votes are counted–SCOTUS pointed to that, and to the lack of factual record before the court of real people harmed, in upholding the law. A law lacking that affidavit feature, or a stronger factual record, may yield a different result.

  52. Anonymous Says:

    @geoff: what “stronger safeguards” would have prevented ANY of these cases? Can you point to a single case where photo ID would have made a difference?

    And trying to argue that Mark Jacoby, e.g., isn’t really Republican is disingenuous. At the time of the fraud, he was working for the Republican party, and he has a long history of working for, and ONLY working for, the Republican party in multiple states (including Florida, Maine, and Missouri). Interestingly, he’s come to the attention of election investigators in some of those states, too.

  53. Anonymous Says:

    @NiceDeb: “there are many, many other cases of voter fraud that have come to light after an investigation, but when it’s too late to do anything about it because it’s impossible to find the culprits who voted as dead people or registered to vote using fake names from non existent addresses.”

    Even a criminal prosecution is impossible, it is still possible to prove that SOMEONE voted a dead person’s ballot or used a fake name from a non-existent address. (Un)Surprisingly enough, evidence of that is sadly lacking too.

    And how do you figure I am “misparsing” your use of the word “proof” when what you really mean is “allegation” or “insinuation” or even merely “hearsay”?

  54. geoff Says:

    I don’t understand why are you expecting that–please explain.

    First of all I want to make it clear that, as with many other states, Colorado does require citizens to provide proof of citizenship to obtain a drivers license, and non-citizens have to provide proof of legal presence (green card, etc) in the US to obtain a drivers license. I can’t tell if you understand that or not.

    If you did understand that ,then it seems that your concern it that people shouldn’t have to go back to the DMV to prove citizenship after naturalization. That seems like a pretty trivial requirement, and the least of their worries after making it through the naturalization gauntlet.

    You are arguing the opposite: the rights of the majority are more important than the voter rights of people like Ruthelle Frank or Thelma Mitchell.

    Where did I say that? I said that you weren’t taking the rights of the majority into consideration, i.e., you aren’t proposing any means of protecting the the integrity of the voting process and the worth of a legitimate vote.

    The evidence we’ve got so far of your rights being diminished (felons voting, absentee vote fraud, double-voting, even the current scandal in upstate New York) does not lend support to photo ID laws.

    You’re absolutely right – photo ID is just the starting point for voting reform. In this time, there’s no excuse for not being able to verify that every vote is legitimate and counted properly.

    You haven’t mentioned one obvious type of fraud – dead voters (as with the 900 zombie voters recently reporting in SC). That’s a case where photo ID would be a big help. As to the Colorado case, they found 106 people who voted who submitted non-citizen documents to the state at a later time. 154 people illegally registered to vote and then voluntarily canceled their registration. It’s also pretty much impossible for the majority of the 5000 people who voted to have been naturalized in that short a time. There’s your proof, but it’s completely unnecessary because:

    If you can’t prove to me that the election process can’t be abused, then you can’t guarantee to me that my rights aren’t being violated.

    So get back to me when you can provide me some assurance that that’s so. In the meantime, I suggest you focus on helping people who are so incompetent in managing their affairs that they can’t muster a photo ID, which has been a standard of American society for 50 years. The ubiquity of photo IDs is why you’re stuck with a handful of cases to cite, rather than being able to pony up 21 million examples.

  55. geoff Says:

    And how do you figure I am “misparsing” your use of the word “proof” when what you really mean is “allegation” or “insinuation” or even merely “hearsay”?

    Anonymous: “I forbid you from implementing checks that will allow you to determine if voter fraud is occurring. Now prove to me that voter fraud is occurring before I’ll change my policy.”

  56. Nice Deb Says:

    Even a criminal prosecution is impossible, it is still possible to prove that SOMEONE voted a dead person’s ballot or used a fake name from a non-existent address. (Un)Surprisingly enough, evidence of that is sadly lacking too.

    Well, you haven’t looked at the links, I’ve provided, then. Investigations have turned up evidence of massive voter fraud time and time again – after the fact. The MN Senate race and the governor’s race in WA are but two examples. For years, groups like ACORN have specialized in flooding the voter rolls with fraudulent registrations. Nobody is prosecuted because how do you prosecute a dead person? How do you prosecute Mickey Mouse?

    I’m through wasting my time trying to convince you because I’m pretty sure you know we’re right and you’re just yanking our chain… You’re happy with the status quo. We’re sick of having our votes canceled out by fraudulent ones.

  57. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    Actually, until he can explain to me why this right should be immune from state interferance and “burdensome” requirements like a state approved proof of ID in order to recognize it, when other rights are infringed in a manner far more burdensome and restrictive, I think he’s just wasting my time anyway.

    And I know I’ve mentioned it before, but since this is the law in Kansas, and the only question now is timing, I have to wonder…were you just going to seethe with impotent rage next year?

  58. Anonymous Says:

    @geoff: Great, now you are bringing up the alleged 900 dead voters in South Carolina. Are you aware that when the State Election Commission there finally was given a sampling of the “dead” names, five of the six who voted were very much alive and the sixth died after casting his own absentee ballot? http://www.thestate.com/2012/01/26/2128459/charge-of-dead-voters-disputed.html Please try and keep up with these stories.

    “It’s also pretty much impossible for the majority of the 5000 people who voted to have been naturalized in that short a time.” Nope, sorry. 12,000 people are naturalized in Colorado every year, and a driver’s license is good for five years. Do the math yourself, and you’ll find it quite possible.

    “it seems that your concern it that people shouldn’t have to go back to the DMV to prove citizenship after naturalization” Yes, that is part of my concern. What is the point or the logic of having them do that? (Remember, it’s not only an inconvenience for them, it is a direct cost for the state, with several thousands of extra customers every year. Justify it from a small-government, lean-budget approach.) Beyond that, there is no current requirement that they do so, so why is Gessler (and by extension you) upset that they did not?

    “photo ID is just the starting point for voting reform” That’s what I am trying to get out. Given that of the fraud actually known to occur, photo ID will prevent little or none, why would you want to start there?

    I read you as saying your rights are more important than those of Ruthelle Frank or Thelma Mitchell because you really don’t seem to care that photo ID laws will negatively affect them and all of the people like them. In fact, you seem to think their problems are mere “vanity” instead of real and costly problems. (And yes, $200 is a pretty big burden for somebody living on a fixed income.) We know about Ruthelle only because she is an activist and a fighter; we have no idea how many people there are like her who don’t have the connections or the energy to make a splash in the national media.

    Your snide remarks nothwithstanding, photo IDs are nowhere near as ubiquitous as you’d like to believe. Thelma and Ruthelle and all of the other cases like them are not people who were living in caves–they were out in the mainstream of society, and they still got by for many decades without these supposedly vital papers. People who really are on the fringes are even more likely to lack them.

    I know people who lack ID sufficient for these laws, none of whom have hit the national spotlight. There is an excellent chance that you do too–you just don’t know it yet. Next time you are at a family get-together with older relatives, ask all of the adults present if they have current government-issued photo ID and ready access to proof of citizenship (for a woman, e.g., that means either a passport or certified copies of both a birth certificate and any documents re: changes of names, such as marriage licenses, divorce decrees, etc.). If anybody in the family was naturalized prior to about 1940, pay special attention (most children did not receive their own papers back then, and they may or may not be mentioned on their parent’s paperwork). You may be in for some surprises.

    Fortunately, the generation of women who might have been caught in the couverture citizenship trap has just about died out, but there may yet be some very elderly females to whom that applies. In the early years of the last century (before the mid-1920s or so), a married woman could not legally apply for naturalization in her own name; her citizenship derived from that of her husband. Meanwhile, a natural-born-US-citizen female who married a non-citizen automatically lost her citizenship; unless she took positive steps to get it back later, she can possess a U.S. birth certificate and still not be a citizen.

  59. Anonymous Says:

    @geoff: You claim I say, “I forbid you from implementing checks that will allow you to determine if voter fraud is occurring. Now prove to me that voter fraud is occurring before I’ll change my policy.”

    What you really mean is: “We have the tools to see whether voter fraud is really occurring. We could compare citizenship records with voter records, instead of using inadequate DL records; we could compare death records with voter records, and check to see if the voters are really dead before announcing they are. Instead, it makes more sense to trumpet these big scary headlines and get people all riled up in the absence of any concrete facts whatsoever.”

  60. Anonymous Says:

    @NiceDeb: “We’re sick of having our votes canceled out by fraudulent ones.”

    You mean you’re sick because Kobach and Gessler and other publicity-hungry politicos have told you your votes are being cancelled out, and instead of actually thinking for yourself about whether what they are telling you makes sense and can be proven, you’re going to jump on their bandwagons. If people like Ruthelle Frank and Thelma Mitchell get ground into dust beneath your feet along the way, well, their rights really weren’t all that important to you anyway. (I have not heard you say one thing in this entire thread about protecting the rights of people like Thelma.)

    If REAL people suffer REAL harm, but it means that possibly-imaginary people can’t cast their possibly-imaginary votes, that’s okay, right?

    I firmly believe and hold that an election in which one legitimate voter is prevented from casting a ballot is no more fair, and possesses no more integrity, than an election in which an illegitimate vote is cast. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?

  61. geoff Says:

    What you really mean is:

    Nope.

    I have not heard you say one thing in this entire thread about protecting the rights of people like Thelma

    I think we already pointed out that her rights were violated by an error, not by a systemic problem.

    I firmly believe and hold that an election in which one legitimate voter is prevented from casting a ballot is no more fair, and possesses no more integrity, than an election in which an illegitimate vote is cast.

    Depends on why they were “prevented” from casting it. If they were “prevented” from casting it because their affairs are so badly ordered that they can’t cash a check or fly on an airplane, then no, I think it’s their fault that they didn’t do the work necessary for them to enjoy their right to vote, so their lack of voting doesn’t affect the integrity of an election at all.

  62. Nice Deb Says:

    I don’t need to express my concern for the voting rights of a few atypical hard luck cases. Liberal Dems like you already blow those concerns out of proportion in order to prevent common sense solutions to endemic problems like voter fraud.

    Secretary of State Kris Kobach is tired of excuses. He says educational television ads are ready, free copies of birth certificates are available and a state computer upgrade should be done in time to require that all new Kansas voters show proof of U.S. citizenship — ahead of the presidential elections.

    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/29/3398394/analysis-signs-of-doubt-about.html#storylink=cpy


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