Thursday, October 23, 2014

Voter ‘suppression’

7/30/2014

I wanted to bring some facts to the surface about Jeanny Sharp’s July 26 editorial rant about Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, who is running for re-election against Scott Morgan, R-Lawrence.

I don’t know much about Kobach’s personal life, and won’t pretend that I do. Maybe his hobby is working on legislation to do what he thinks is right all across our country when he is not on the clock with the state. I might add, when he is on the clock with the state, his agency is fully funded by the fees it generates rather than state taxes as you stated in your editorial (per a bill signed by the governor back in 2003). I don’t think what he chooses to do with his “free time” warrants my judgment if I’m not called to jury duty in the case.

I wanted to bring some facts to the surface about Jeanny Sharp’s July 26 editorial rant about Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, who is running for re-election against Scott Morgan, R-Lawrence.

I don’t know much about Kobach’s personal life, and won’t pretend that I do. Maybe his hobby is working on legislation to do what he thinks is right all across our country when he is not on the clock with the state. I might add, when he is on the clock with the state, his agency is fully funded by the fees it generates rather than state taxes as you stated in your editorial (per a bill signed by the governor back in 2003). I don’t think what he chooses to do with his “free time” warrants my judgment if I’m not called to jury duty in the case.

Voting is at the heart of our democracy. With your vote, you send a direct message to the government about how you as a citizen want to be governed. If someone else finds a way to get five of these messages sent when a law abiding citizen can only get one, it deteriorates the integrity of the whole system. What is a vote worth in a system with no integrity checks?

A bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform organized by American University in 2005 came to the conclusion, “The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters. Photo IDs currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally important.”

Voter fraud also was highlighted by U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in his ruling in the case of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, where he said “flagrant examples of voter fraud have been documented throughout our nation’s history by respected historians and journalists which demonstrate that not only is the risk of voter fraud real, but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.”

This isn’t one of those issues that is open to interpretation. It is an issue that can easily be cemented in verifiable facts, and if the one reason I shouldn’t vote for Kobach is because of his diligence in making sure my vote has equal power to everyone else’s, then with the facts we have to go off, I’m placing my vote right where it will retain equal power to everyone else’s and continue to “suppress” voter fraud.

The line Sharp drew with her editorial makes it an easy decision for me. I can vote for his opponent who wants to make voter fraud just as easy in Kansas as it was before, or I can vote for Kris Kobach. In my eyes, the latter is a vote that will protect the integrity of the heart of our democracy. True honest votes.

Jason Berve,

Ottawa

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