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Bryan Preston

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April 1, 2014 - 5:02 pm
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In 2011, Kansas passed the SAFE Act — Safe and Fair Elections — which requires voter ID, proof of citizenship and signature verification. In other words, it’s designed to make sure that all votes cast in Kansas are cast legally by the person identified as the voter. The law was to go into effect January 1, 2013. But the Obama administration stood in the way.

At issue are the forms states use to register voters for federal elections. Kansas and Arizona require proof of citizenship, while the federal government’s form — incredibly — does not. The federal government attempted to force Kansas to use its federal voter registration form. A lawsuit ensued, and Kansas (along with Arizona) won in federal court last month. The outcome affirms the right of states to set requirements for voting within their territory. The Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring voter ID in 2008.

Critics claim that the citizenship requirement is discriminatory, but Senior Legal Fellow of the Heritage Foundation, Hans von Spakovsky, who studies the impact of election integrity laws on elections and called that charge “silly,” noting that it’s a felony for non-citizens to vote in US federal elections. Therefore, verifying citizenship is just a matter of enforcing existing election law.

Von Spakovsky made his comments Tuesday evening on a conference call organized by True the Vote. The Houston, Texas-based organization is a grass-roots group dedicated to improving the security and integrity of elections across the United States. Its president and founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, moderated the conference call.

Von Spakovsky noted that the court found that the federal government acted well outside its legal powers, when it fought against requiring proof of citizenship and tried to force Kansas to change its own voter registration forms.

Should other states adopt citizenship requirements? Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, architect of the SAFE Act, says that the federal ruling certainly opens the door. Kobach said states that currently have photo ID laws are likely to follow and require citizenship. There are currently about 11 states that require voters produce photo ID when voting. Kobach also noted that court ruled that the federal government simply lacks the power to force states to use the federal voter registration form, despite its assertion of that power against Kansas’ SAFE Act. The states, said Kobach, have the power to both set and enforce their voter registration standards, within the bounds of federal requirements.

The judge ruled that “The [National Voting Rights Act] does not empower the federal government to second-guess the states” on voter registration, Kobach said. The Kansas law spells out proof of citizenship, and even allows voters to supply their proof later if they fail to bring it with them when they register to vote.

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Top Rated Comments   
Can states require ID? Sure. But WILL they? The ones that are already wholly owned subsidiaries of the Democrats surely won't. Why would they? They LIKE the criminal vote. It benefits the leadership.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
As long as the federal government requires photo ID's in order for people to pick up their welfare checks, there should be absolutely no valid legal case against requiring it to vote.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutely....elections are supposed to be run by the states, not the federal government.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (24)
All Comments   (24)
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Requiring a Voter ID is good, but there can be fake IDs produced which would still enable multiple voting. In addition to a Voter ID, we should also require that a voter has his finger dipped in indelible ink to flag him as having already voted. That would nullify any number of fake IDs. One man - one vote.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrats ONLY care about votes and "winning" elections. How they get the votes is completely immaterial. They will publicly show righteous indignation and engage in name-calling. Privately, they are high-fiving each other because the Republicans are so stupid and cowardly.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course the facts don't matter. TRUTH is what helps The Party.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
A) France requires three IDs: 1) French photo citizenship card, 2) Letter from Precinct captain tellling the citizen which precinct he should vote at and 3) an address confirmation, ie. power bill. Since the EU, millions of individuals have migrated for work purposes. Citizenship rights such as voting are not conferred when foreigners work in France.

B) The Healthcare.gov website, insecure, unreliable, incomplete, etc. ought to convince anyone with sense that computers are not to be relied on for something as important as elections. I say paper ballots, with thumbprint affixed at the voting site, and a national data base to make sure no two thumbprints voted. Or dead thumbprints.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why are Republicans such idiots? They should be playing the same card that Democrats do on reducing welfare costs: loudly and often accuse the Democrats of being FOR voting multiple times, voting by the dead, and voting by illegal aliens. Republicans are much too gentle in their statements to the Holder DOJ, they must be more aggressive in backing up voter ID.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am an Arizona voter and am unimpressed by their system. I registered on line and get mail in ballots. I do not recall any checks on my citizenship.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hard to believe that asking someone to prove their identity and eligibility to vote for president and other elected offices is somehow controversial or an attempt at voter suppression. Government IDs are issued free in every state and people need them for the most mundane activities but no one objects to that.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's just the rhetoric used, not the real reason. The real reason is to make it easier to cheat.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can states require ID? Yes. The Constitution is quite clear on it. Article 1, Section 4.

33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can states require ID? Sure. But WILL they? The ones that are already wholly owned subsidiaries of the Democrats surely won't. Why would they? They LIKE the criminal vote. It benefits the leadership.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
“It’s almost as if the facts don’t matter”
Ever heard of this dude, Alinsky? Or the Chicago way?
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Heh. I think Hans was using the word "almost" ironically there.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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