Not ready for more voting restrictions
The voter-ID experiment put Kansas through a tough election year. Errors at the Sedgwick County Election Office and administrative failures at related agencies caused problems for both voters and candidates. With these difficulties in mind, does anyone think we are ready for a stringent voter-registration restriction?
During the 2011 legislative session, our Kansas legislators struck a smart agreement to postpone the implementation of the voter-registration restriction outlined in the Secure and Fair Elections Act. Given the magnitude of the changes under the SAFE Act, our state needed time to prepare, implement and monitor new provisions carefully.
In 2012, Secretary of State Kris Kobach introduced and lobbied for a bill to expedite implementation of the voter-registration restriction to June of last year. In the presence of that persistent lobbying, the Legislature admirably stuck by its decision to delay implementation.
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Our legislators initially postponed implementation of the voter-registration restriction because we weren’t ready. They stopped Kobach’s attempt to rush implementation because we still weren’t ready. With 532 votes blocked because of ID problems, coupled with a year of glitches, errors and confusion, it is more obvious than ever that our state is not ready to take on more voting restrictions.
Cut mailing cost
I received the latest mailing from Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, to his constituents, titled “Putting Kansas Before Washington.” This 2012 yearly report is printed as a slick four-color, four-page, heavy-stock mailing “provided as a service to 4th Congressional District residents.” It also states: “This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”
Do I sense a bit of hypocrisy, coming from a politician who consistently claims our national budget expenses must be cut? I would be quite satisfied with a single-page, black-and-white yearly report. Perhaps the first cut should be to congressional official expenses.
Cut Obama’s pay
I noticed on a network news crawl Monday morning that Social Security and veterans’ benefits would be cut if Congress and the president did not come to another compromise agreement on the debt ceiling. This scare-tactic headline must have been prearranged, as it appeared two hours before the presidential press conference. But let’s spin this the other way.
It would show exemplary and highly courageous leadership if the president cut his own pay and the salaries of all of his Cabinet and the heads of all government agencies by 35 percent, and then went to the bottom of the ladder for cuts. At least true leadership would surface for a change.