Kansas voting advocates navigating new maps, law

The Legislature redraws the state’s four congressional districts and boundaries for state House and Senate seats based on results of the U.S. Census every 10 years.

By

State News

June 3, 2022 - 4:02 PM

Connie Brown Collins, who appeared at a news conference at the Statehouse in January to protest new congressional maps, said it was critical that voting advocacy organizations do everything they can to address feelings of ambivalence within communities of voters who feel disenfranchised. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Kansas voting advocacy organizations are grappling with what new congressional and legislative maps mean for registration efforts, while also navigating a new law that interferes with their work.

The Kansas Supreme Court issued separate rulings last month declaring the congressional and legislative maps approved by the Republican-led Legislature complied with the state constitution. The decision reversed a district judge’s opinion that the congressional map moving Lawrence from the 2nd District to the 1st District and splitting the Democratic stronghold of Wyandotte County was unconstitutional.

Connie Brown Collins, of the Voter Rights Network of Wyandotte County, said community members have been reluctant to get involved with politics in the past, but the new maps have exacerbated feelings of ambivalence.

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