|
|
The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Kobach bill finds favor at local level

  • Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Monday election fraud in the state is more widespread than previously thought.

    But it’s not widespread in Harvey County, according to county clerk Joyce Truskett. Truskett has been administrating elections for Harvey County the last five years. During that time, she has found three cases of illegal voting.


    • email print
  • Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Monday election fraud in the state is more widespread than previously thought.
    But it’s not widespread in Harvey County, according to county clerk Joyce Truskett. Truskett has been administrating elections for Harvey County the last five years. During that time, she has found three cases of illegal voting.
    “Out of 20,000 voters, I’ll take that,” Truskett said. “It is hard to hear someone knocking our state’s system, but I know there are areas where illegal voting because of citizenship is going to be a problem more than it is here. I have confidence in this county.”
    The secretary of state’s latest report showed 59 reports of irregularities involving at least 221 ballots since 1997 — about double the figures from a report compiled in 2008.
    House Bill 2067, proposed by Kobach’s office, is in committee hearings this week in the Legislature. The bill, called the Secure and Fair Election Safe Act, would require photo ID for voting in an election, proof of citizenship when registering to vote, enhancement of the security of mailed advance ballots and would authorize the secretary of state office to prosecute election fraud in addition to county prosecutors and state attorney general.
    “I kind of like that bill,” Truskett said. “We can find all the problems we want to, but unless our courts are willing to prosecute, it doesn’t do any good. The courts are very busy, and they have lots of other fish to fry. ... To show a voter ID, no, that will not be harder for us.”
    Kobach ran for his position on the idea of tougher voter registration laws, and is trying to get support on capital hill for a bill would to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. Also, people who register to vote for the first time in Kansas would have to provide proof that they’re citizens.
    “The real crux is there are two questions at the top of the voter registration card,” Truskett said. The first is are you a US citizen and one is will you be 18 years of age at time of the next election. If you don’t answer the first one, you are not to fill out the card. Very often we have to go back and say you missed this.”
    She said recently when they went back and asked someone about not having that box checked, it was found they were not a citizen.
    “None of us can work hard enough or fast enough to stay ahead of someone who wants to cheat,” Truskett said. “I can’t think of a better group of people to handle this than the election officers of Kansas.”
    Currently statutes do not require a vote to show a photo identification at the polls. However for advance balloting in the last election Harvey County voters were asked for a photo ID.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We did it this last election for ease in pulling up the voters name,” Truskett said.
    Advanced voting in Harvey County used a swipe system — a voter could swipe the magnetic strip on the back of their license like a credit card. A computer then pulled up the voter’s registration information.
    There is not funding to provide every polling station in the county with that equipment. However, if the bill passes and become law, everyone would need to show a photo ID to vote.
    “We’ll just have to see where the bill goes,” Truskett said.  
    — The Associated PRess contributed to this report
      • calendar