US attorney to send monitor for Dodge City election

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October 31, 2018 - 12:06 PM

This image shows how far a voter in Dodge City would have to walk from the former polling site to a new one for this year's election. Dodge City has only one polling site for 13,000 voters. Last month, the county moved it outside the city limits to the Western State Bank Expo Center, more than a mile away from the nearest bus stop. (Image courtesy of Google Maps.)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal monitor will be sent to observe voting in Dodge City in the November election, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a court filing.

His notification to the court came on the same day that U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree scheduled a hearing for Thursday in Topeka to hear arguments on the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas’ request for a temporary restraining order that would force Ford County to open a second polling site in Dodge City.

The southwest Kansas town has only one polling site for 13,000 voters. For nearly two decades, that sole location was at the civic center in the mostly white part of town. The county last month moved it outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop, sparking fears of efforts of voter suppression. When the ACLU originally wrote Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox asking for help in publicizing a voter help line earlier this month, Cox forwarded the message to Sec. of State Kris Kobach and wrote “LOL.”

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