Kansas league marks uptick in voter registrations

By

Opinion

September 24, 2019 - 10:25 AM

The League of Women Voters of Kansas wants the public to know that an analysis of voting data from 2014 to 2018 shows a dramatic increase in voter registration.

Today,  National Voter Registration Day, the League recalls our struggle the past eight years to protect the vote for all in Kansas. The so-called SAFE Act of 2011 created historic barriers to the vote in our state. We knew, for instance, that 16% of those attempting to register to vote after 2011 did not complete their registrations because of lack of easy access to birth certificates, or other needed documents, to prove they were citizens. In June 2018, the Kansas City District Federal Court found that requiring documentary proof of citizenship at the time of voter registration was unconstitutional and in violation of the National Voter Registration Act.

At the request of the League of Kansas, Dr. Michael Smith, professor of political science at Emporia State University, compared 2014-2018 voter registration and voting data from the Kansas Secretary of State. He found that between the 2014 and 2018 midterms, voter registrations increased by a dramatic  241% statewide. In counties with LWV chapters, the average increase was  258%. Credit for this increase goes to the ACLU legal experts, and volunteers from the League of Women Voters, political parties and other organizations, who encouraged online and in-person registration using the federal form following the court decision. Sedgwick County exceeded all counties with a  310%  increase in registrations alone.

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