ENSURE ACCESS TO THE POLLS
Access to democracy shouldn't depend on your zip code.
Weekend and evening early voting hours protect rural voters and significantly boost voters’ ability to fulfill their civic duties.
THE PROBLEM FOR KANSAS DEMOCRACY
Under current Kansas law, early in-person voting may begin up to 20 days before Election Day, but county clerks and election officers have wide discretion over how many hours and when they offer in-person early voting. This means that citizens’ access to the voting box can vary dramatically across county lines, and rural voters are especially less likely than urban voters to have early voting access.
There is a clear correlation between poll availability and voter turnout.
It’s time the Kansas Legislature fixed this. Let’s ensure that citizens’ access to democracy doesn’t vary based on a zip code.
MORE VOTING HOURS, BETTER TURNOUT
Because of limited early voting, Kansas is leaving rural voters in the dust.
PARTICIPATING IN DEMOCRACY IS NOT A 9-TO-5 JOB
In the 2018 general election, only 28 of 105 counties gave citizens a Saturday voting opportunity. Only 23 counties offered weekday early voting at times outside normal business hours.
To truly strengthen democracy for every Kansas voter, the state legislature should pass a bill to ensure every voter has equal access. This bill should require that in-person early voting include at least one weekday with evening hours from 5 to 8 p.m. and one Saturday with at least four (4) hours of voting.
KANSAS COUNTIES WITH EARLY VOTING
OUTSIDE NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS
County boundaries shouldn’t determine the richness of our state’s civic culture and opportunity for citizen participation in democracy.
WHY IN-PERSON EARLY VOTING?
Kansas voters shouldn’t have to choose between their jobs or families and voting. Voting hours should be convenient for citizens who have jobs and family responsibilities or who, like the average rural voter, must travel long distances to vote.
Where you live shouldn’t determine your right to vote and when or how you cast your ballot. The voting process should be as clear and consistent as possible for citizens no matter where they happen to live in our state.
More in-person early voting can result in shorter lines on Election Day, making voting more accessible for everyone and Election Day less burdensome on local governments.
It’s been proven time and time again that when citizens have more opportunities to participate in democracy, they do so at a higher rate. Our democracy is stronger when we give people every chance to fulfill their civic duty.