State D.A. refuses to prosecute over new voting laws

The District Attorney for Douglas County says she won't enforce new voter engagement laws that have led nonprofits and others to halt voter registration efforts.

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July 29, 2021 - 8:17 AM

Members of the Johnson County chapter of the League of Women Voters help register new voters at a naturalization ceremony in 2019. The nine Kansas leagues are abandoning plans to attend naturalization ceremonies this summer, as well as all other voter registration and education efforts, for fear of criminal prosecution under a new law. (IMAGE SUBMITTED TO KANSAS REFLECTOR)

TOPEKA — Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez says she won’t prosecute anyone under a new state law that caused nonprofits to halt voter registration efforts at the start of July.

The legislation’s sweeping reforms include a provision that makes it illegal for individuals to engage in conduct that would cause someone to believe they are an election official. Valdez said the law is vague and subjective, and that it is already illegal to impersonate an election official.

The inevitable effect of the law is to weaken voter engagement efforts, she said.

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