Voter ID: Secretary of State Jason Kander On Potential Disenfranchisement, Lack of Fraud

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Will Missouri make it harder to vote?
If the Missouri legislature successfully passes a measure to require all residents in the state show photo identification before they can cast ballots, it will become more difficult for legal, eligible voters to participate.

So says a new report released today from Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who also argues that the legislation is unnecessary -- since voter impersonation fraud is not a problem.

As we've reported, Republican lawmakers this year are hopeful that they can change the law -- and eventually, with the backing of voters, change the constitution -- so that only people who show photo ID can vote.

How harmful could this be, according to Kander?

The Democratic Secretary of State, who functions as the state's chief elections officer, today released an impact report on House Bill 48 and the accompanying constitutional amendment, outlining potential harms.

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Secretary of State Jason Kander.

One problem, he says, is that the "provisional ballot" option for those who don't have required identification is one where, most often, the vote wouldn't be counted -- even if supporters of the measure cite this as protection against disenfranchisement:

Proponents of HCS HBs 48 & 216 claim that if voters don't have the required identification, they will not be disenfranchised because they would still be permitted to vote using a provisional ballot. The vast majority of Missourians who cast a provisional ballot do not see their votes counted.

In the 2012 Presidential Election, fewer than 3 in 10 provisional ballots were counted. There were only five counties that counted more than half of their provisional ballots, and each of those counties counted just one ballot. On the other hand, there were 45 counties that counted 20 percent of their provisional ballots or fewer.

Also of note is his argument that the fraud this legislation seeks to prevent is non-existent.

Continue for more on voter fraud in Missouri and the full report.

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59 comments
Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

Voter ID will have no effect on the votes counted as valid. That number will remain the same since voters who are not properly registered can only vote provisionally and those ballots are re examined before they are counted or discarded. All done by bipartisan pairs. Even if you have a picture ID, you may still not have your vote counted if your registration does not match up. The ID being proposed will not guarantee that you get to vote.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

This is statewide legislation we're talking about. Drew and Angela may be authorities on the counties in which they are election judges but have demonstrated they do not understand the process in St. Louis City. The LRA owns about 11,000 vacant buildings and lots in st. Louis city. People are registered to vote at these properties. Hundreds of voter ID cards show up at a homeless shelter before every single election. In the city, anyone can use one of these cards to vote. You cannot tell me there is no fraud. There is no way for you to know.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

Yes. Ensuring fair elections is a legitimate function of the state.

Bradley Hardin
Bradley Hardin

Are you willing to have the state pay for those id's, the cost of getting the documents needed to get the id? That would be the only way to avoid a poll tax. Don't say it's easy to get, it's not for people who have little time, on very limited budget and might not have transportation.

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

I know a little bit about voting, I am the Missouri State Committeewoman for the 5th district. So, no need to contact myself. I am just making voters aware. We need voter ID.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

The current polling place I supervise includes an incredibly large retirement community. Many of the names on the register are names of DEAD people. They cannot "vote" because if they don't vote after a short time then they must "re-register" with the county. So we thumb through tons of pages with ineligible voters every election. You know how to fix this? If you know ANYTHING about voting, you'd know that not only do our state & county legislators have a hand in the law concerning elections, but also local county committee members (every party has 2 for each township inside each county) that you VOTE in to represent you, have a hand in local politics as well. Why don't you try talking to them about how elections work and how they watch out for fraud like hawks. Handy dandy links: GOP: http://www.mogop.org/resources/mo-gop/county-committees/ Dems: http://www.missouridems.org/about/ St. Louis Co. Libertarians: http://www.arnoldtrembley.com/lpl.htm

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

They didn't actually count those votes so your point is invalid.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

Correct Drew. Filling out a provisional ballot is the #1 way to prevent a person from voting at the polling place.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

Akin was obviously voting in the correct county. He claimed the WRONG address though which is against the law. He was not primarily residing at that house.

Bradley Hardin
Bradley Hardin

Heather, those 281 suspected suspicious votes hasn't been confirmed. Many reasons why a name would be suspicious, common names are more likely to get flagged. If you have 100 John Smiths, 30 were registered to vote, half voted, and 20 died, then that name could be flagged, doesn't mean there was any fraud. If there was widespread fraud, with all the organizations checking it's reasonable to say there would be proof, but there hasn't been. Voter turnout in the last elections was 57%, that means over 40% of people eligible to vote didn't. It's ridiculous to think there is voter fraud when we have such low turnout, it's even lower in non-Presidential elections.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

2 hours? Wow... considering I get trained multiple times a year, I'm not quite getting where you get that number from. And what paper would you be referring to Heather?

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

I know you can't screw in a screw with a hammer. And you can't get a vote counted, in St.Louis County, without corroborating registration. The votes aren't counted if they aren't all correct. And all counts must match, or we're not done and can't go home.

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

I placed a link from KMOV that reported the fraud.

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

To be an election judge you go to a 2 hour training course. People can vote with just the paper that comes in the mail without showing ID. Give me a break.

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

So 281 times? You seriously believe that? Forget the words Democrat or Republican - your secretary of state has this information, proving that either 281 people voted after the date of their death or there were 281 errors showing that people voted after the date of their death. Then, your secretary of state publicly stated that there have been zero cases of voter impersonation fraud. You trust this person?

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

We already have the data that proves you are registered to vote at the polling place you are assigned. You would not be allowed to vote if your information does not match our books. Then you fill out a provisional ballot which is verified or not, after the polls close and they have been delivered to the election board building. The workers there, verify each provisional ballot submitted before they are added to the vote totals. You can try to commit in person voter fraud but you will not get away with it.

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

and this part? - - Earl Glynn with the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity said his research has not turned up any evidence of actual voter fraud. He believes his findings are the result of sloppy record keeping and limitations to the checks and balances that local election boards can use. But his research raises a lot of concerns about the potential for voter fraud and puts election offices on guard for Tuesday's election.

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

Akin as an example? Republican vote fraud attempts are well documented. Is that what you guys are worried about? Because that's about all there is.

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

You said it so much better than I did.

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

I sent a letter to the author of this article with the information on the dead voters requesting an edit. I also sent a message to Jason Kander requesting that he retract his statement. Saying there have been no instances of voter impersonation fraud since 2002 when 281 dead people voted in 2010 is uninformed at the best, a blatant lie at its worst.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

Angela, do you live / vote in St. Louis City?

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

And those are just the ones we know about!

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

How can he say that there have been zero cases of voter impersonation since 2002 when 281 people voted after the date of their death in 2010? Is it not voter impersonation when they don't get caught? This makes no sense. Like Jesse Irwin, I call bullshit.

Bradley Hardin
Bradley Hardin

Jesse, what does it matter if hundreds of people are registered to vote at New Life Evangelistic Center? How is that fraud? Citizens have a right to vote in the place they live, if they are homeless they have a right to use homeless shelters as an address for voter ids. That isn't just in Missouri, it's nationwide. Being homeless doesn't end their Constitutional rights.......and there are a lot of homeless veterans, should they be denied the vote because of their situation.

John Korst
John Korst

Having a government-issued ID is nothing but a plus in this modern world.

John Korst
John Korst

I fully approve as long as they provide fee waivers for the poor and encourage non-profits to assist helping citizens get the documentation.

Bill Streeter
Bill Streeter

Seems like that if it were a big problem someone would be able to produce evidence that it was happening.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

Tell us the names of those dead people since you know all about them? Have you reported the fact that they voted to the SOS?

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

the very fact this scares the hell out of the nutty left wingers justifies the reason to have it.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

As a elected official at the time, pretty nice for him that he got away with it! Bah on him.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

<---Election Judge. Very, very few people show up to commit fraud. The post card or voter ID card are great IDs. What I don't think the public understands is that MO already has a database set up to tell each county where each voter is registered, effectively eliminating the opportunity for people to vote more than once over county lines. Registering to vote in the first place includes sending mail to a valid address so that controls that problem. And people like me who sit at a polling place for 13 hours pretty much know the majority of the people who come in because they are the pollworkers' NEIGHBORS. Once again, GOPers being big gov't and all that jazz. All of them need to work their local polling place just once to see how it really works.

Cary Aye
Cary Aye

There is no in person voter fraud (unless you're Todd Akin) You're fools for sucking up to these ALEC sponsored bills. The real problem is electronic voting in which you have not a clue if your vote was cast as it was intended or if it was counted at all. Jesse - Please go vote for your dead neighbors. We love to read about republicans breaking the law and getting busted for voter fraud.

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

I think it's funny that liberals want people to have ID and pass a background check to take advantage of their constitutional right to carry a gun but won't even accept that people should have to show ID to vote. And no, you don't need any ID at all to vote. Just the card that comes in the mail. I vote in every election.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

Say I have new life evengeliatic center or Carr square in my ward....

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

When I moved to my current house I got cards for tbe previous residents for more than a year. In St. Louis city turnout for aldermanic races is often low and I know of a recent election that was decided by one vote.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

In St. Louis city all you need to cast a legit vote is the card that comes in the mail.

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

No Jessie, you could not. It's not a picture ID but one would have to present fraudulent ID of the sort accepted. The St. Louis County Election Board requires all voters to show some form of identification in order to vote. Your signed Election Board I.D. is the preferred form of identification because it contains your township and precinct, information we need to keep the lines moving smoothly. If you forget your I.D. Card you can still vote but you will need to present some approved form of identification. Approved forms of identification in Missouri are: Identification issued by the state of Missouri or any agency of the state; Identification issued by any agency of the United States Government; Identification issued by an institution of higher learning located within Missouri (university, college, trade or technical school); A recent utility bill, bank statement, government check, or other document containing the current name and address of voter; Drivers License or state identification card issued by any state. Voters with no identification may vote only when an election judge receives permission from our office.

Bill Streeter
Bill Streeter

There have been a couple of recent studies that looked at voter fraud in the last few years and they found that it's so rare that there's virtually no chance that it could swing an election pretty much ever. So you have to ask why are Republicans so hot an bothered by a problem that's so rare that you can barely find any of it that even exists? Well if you look at their proposed solutions it's fairly obvious that they're mainly just interested in making it hard for traditional democratic voters from casting votes. Mike Turzai a GOP rep in PA kinda let it slip in a speech last year in a speech. So the cats out of the bag. I'm honestly kinda surprised the GOP even still wants to talk about it. But I guess it's easier to talk about that than trying to win elections by talking about legitimate issues.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

Hundreds of voter ID cards showing up in one place...

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

Here's your voter fraud in my county. What else you got? I can only speak for St.Louis County poll workers. Other counties do it their own way so I can't speak to their procedures.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

The voter rolls in St. Louis city are a mess. People are registered to vote at vacant lots and condemned houses. Hundreds of people are registered at the new life evengelistic center.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

If I knew someone was dead or had moved out of state but was still on the rolls, I could walk in with no ID, pretend to be that person and vote. You would never know.

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

If you want to know the checks and safeguards used here in St.Louis County, they are very forthcoming over there on Sunnen Drive. It just can't happen. There is not a path for a vote to be counted in the final certified totals, which would allow that vote to be processed without being verified against the registered voter rolls. Provisional ballots are what take the most time to verify because they are all put through the process.

Drew Caplan
Drew Caplan

I make no excuses for the attempts, which were all caught, and had never any chance of being counted as real votes, and, were almost all the done by republicans.

Mark Ogier
Mark Ogier

What about Akin voting in the wrong district?

Heather Coil
Heather Coil

What about all of those dead people who voted?

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