We may all love the internet, the cute memes, the quick jabs, a friendly LOL. But how grateful we all have to be for fantastic state house reporting that works hard to keep us informed. Today, in the Topeka Capital Journal, Jonathan Shorman his a home run where the internet and real world collide. Dodge City, Kansas, has been home to controversy, for a decision by the county to move the polling place outside of town. While Kansas Democratic party members, and state elected have tried to work on solutions it turns out the local county clerk had another response: “LOL”
After the ACLU objected to Dodge City’s single, out-of-town polling place, the local official in charge of elections forwarded to the state an ACLU letter asking her to publicize a voter help line.
“LOL,” she wrote in an email to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office.
As Election Day approaches, concerns are being raised in Kansas over voting rights and access to the polls. The movement and elimination of some polling places is sparking fears that casting a ballot may be more difficult for some this year.
The ACLU asked that the county clerk do more to help inform voters of the change, and to work on making sure new voters were aware — apparently this request was funny; enough so that bringing it up made her laugh out loud.
But Dodge City isn’t the only controversy to jolt the state’s election system this year.
In Wyandotte County, officials face criticism for having five precincts in Argentine — a neighborhood in Kansas City, Kan. with a large Hispanic population — vote at a building that includes a police station.
And in Barton County in western Kansas, the county clerk is cutting the number of polling places, citing costs. The decision has produced some complaints.
Kansas has lost more than 100 polling places over the past few years, even as the number of registered voters has risen by more than 46,000.
Wyandotte County, in Kansas 3rd Congressional District, traditionally votes strong Democratic. With Republicans concerned that Sharice Davis might defeat Kevin Yoder, voter suppression in the Kansas City, Kansas community certainly raises attention.
County plans are provided to the Secretary of State — Kris Kobach — according to Democratic and Republican legislators, to be filed. Kris Kobach, currently running for Governor, has refused to recuse himself from the role as election day approaches, making him the senior election official in the state.
In a phone call with Johnny Dunlap, Ford County Democratic Chair, I was informed that “this is not new; the polling place used to be in a very wealthy, white part of town, next to a country club. That was also a way to scare people off from voting, but this is a whole new level.” At least the county made efforts to correctly inform.. oh.. whoops
Blatant disregard for voter rights. But, you know, LOL I guess.