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Lawmakers and advocates want confidence in Kansas elections. But they disagree on how to do it

A polling location in Hays, Kansas.
David Condos
Kansas News Service
A polling location in Hays, Kansas.

The Kansas legislature has taken up several bills this session that the ACLU says would make casting ballots harder. The House Committee on Elections' chair says the goal is to improve Kansans' confidence in elections, and that many of the measures won't make it to a vote on the floor.

Leavenworth representative Pat Proctor is worried about voter confidence in Kansas. So it's something he's prioritizing in the House Committee on Elections, where he's the chair.

"When half of the people in Kansas don't believe that the results of the election reflect the will of the voters, they stop voting," said Proctor.

The latest Kansas Speaks survey reported that 11% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the idea that reported winners of elections reflect the candidates for which Kansans voted. 25.8% were neutral, and 9% responded "I don't know."

Micah Kubic, the executive director of the ACLU of Kansas, also wants voters to be confident in elections. But he worries that the measures being weighed to do it, such as one that would have designated ballots put in remote boxes as provisional until verified by the county election office, could discourage people from casting a ballot.

Proctor said he has no intention of bringing that measure, HB 2571, to a vote on the House floor.

"Whether that's the intent or the impact is for others to decide, but the impact is clear. That fewer people would be able to participate," Kubic said. "Especially something that marks a ballot as provisional.... that's a big red flag to folks that their vote is not going to be counted."

  • Rep. Pat Proctor, R- Leavenworth, Chair of the Kansas House Committee on Elections
  • Micah Kubic, executive director, ACLU of Kansas
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