Saturday, January 24, 2015

KS Sec'y of State shows up in NE to push GOP voter supression bill

Anti-gay Kris Kobach, Kansas' Secretary of State, turned up in Lincoln Thursday to plug a voter suppression bill (the worst of two pending), sold in the guise of Voter ID legislation to help solve the nonexistent problem of fraudulent voting. Here's how Kobach blocks votes via software.
     Such initiatives have already been beaten back twice in the Cornhusker state, but the GOP is still trying.
     And you thought Kansas was too broke to send its officials on voter disenfranchisement search-and-destroy missions to sell initiatives furthering the GOP agenda, didn't you?

 From Fred Knap at NET
     Among those testifying in favor of the idea was Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach said similar legislation passed in Kansas in 2011 had not suppressed voter turnout. "It actually went up from 2010 to 2014. You’re comparing two nonpresidential election years. Our turnout in 2010 was 50 percent; our turnout in 2014 was 51 percent," Kobach said. "We also exceeded the turnout in our surrounding states. Here in Nebraska your turnout was 47 percent; our turnout was 51 percent, again, with photo ID."
     But Bri McClarty of Nebraskans for Civic Reform cited a report from the Government Accountability Office that found, after controlling for varying degrees of competitive elections, turnout declined by 1.9 to 3.2 percent in Kansas and Tennessee.
From Legislative Update:
     ...Bri McLarty, director of voting rights for Nebraskans for Civic Reform, testified in opposition to both bills. The ID requirements disproportionally would impact rural voters, she said, adding that some rural DMV offices are open only once a month or are not open over the noon hour.
     In addition, she said, increasing the number of provisional ballots will increase the cost of elections.
     “Other states are spending millions on this kind of legislation,” McLarty said.
     Amy Miller of ACLU Nebraska also testified in opposition to LB111 and the voter ID provisions of LB121. She said the courts repeatedly have ruled that vague concerns about voter fraud cannot justify placing burdens on the constitutional right to vote.
     “The burden is on the government to prove that the voter ID law is necessary,” she said, adding that there have been “zero examples” of voter fraud in Nebraska.
     “Until you have a record of fraud, this bill should not be advanced forward,” Miller said.
     The committee took no immediate action on the bills.

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