ACLU of Kansas warns state legislators considering bills attacking Kansans’ right to vote

Affiliate: ACLU of Kansas
February 20, 2024 12:00 am

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TOPEKA, KAN. – As state lawmakers consider multiple election-related bills, the ACLU of Kansas is warning against each bill’s negative impact on Kansas voters, but also against the collective anti-democratic theme of the package of bills that all seek to make it harder for Kansans to register, cast a ballot, and have their vote count.

“Democracy is not a partisan matter – it’s the very foundation that ensures each Kansas voter can have a voice in the laws and policies affecting their lives,” said Micah Kubic, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas. “The election process is the single most meaningful way for Kansans to hold their elected officials accountable – so it’s particularly disturbing to see some of those same elected officials leverage their power to undermine that fundamental process of accountability. Democracy is strongest when more people participate, and these bills are designed to make fewer people participate.”

“These bills are reminiscent of the attacks on Kansans’ voting rights during the era of then-Secretary of State Kris Kobach,” said Kubic. “We somberly remind our legislators that those attacks have been rejected time after time – rejected by Kansans, rejected by courts, and rejected by common sense. When Mr. Kobach pushed through attacks on our democracy, it resulted in lengthy, costly, and significant losses for Mr. Kobach. Those unconstitutional laws were struck down on behalf of Kansas voters, and any new unconstitutional attacks on our democracy will be, too.”

“It may be tempting for lawmakers to get lost in the details, but they shouldn’t lose sight of what the big picture is for the Kansans they serve and that Kansas still remains in the bottom of the country for voter turnout,” said Rashane Hamby, Policy Director of the ACLU of Kansas. “Every last one of these bills is about creating barriers and making it even harder for Kansans to vote, especially elderly voters, those who are in rural communities, or voters with disabilities. We know that Kansans as a whole trust our election process and the officials who administer it, but many lawmakers continue to politicize our fundamental right to vote and lean on misinformation to justify it.”

The currently seven pending bills in the Kansas legislature seek to limit early in-person voting, place additional restrictions on mail-in ballots, and more.

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