Kansas House Passes Bill Restricting Mail-in Ballot Return Deadline

UPDATE: On Wednesday, April 19, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) vetoed Senate Bill 209, an identical bill to House Bill 2056.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Republican-controlled Kansas House of Representatives passed House Bill 2056, which would reduce the time frame for mail-in ballots to be returned. Currently, ballots that are postmarked by Election Day and arrive up to three days after Election Day are counted, but if H.B. 2056 is signed into law, ballots would have to arrive by 7 p.m. on Election Day, potentially endangering thousands of votes, according to Kansas state Rep. Brandon Woodard (D). The bill passed the House on a voice vote; Woodard said that a request for a recorded vote was ignored.

The bill now goes to the Kansas Senate, where Republicans also have a majority. While Gov. Laura Kelly (D) could veto H.B. 2056 if it clears the Legislature, Republicans could try to override her veto with their supermajorities in both chambers.

Arizona Republicans have introduced multiple bills that similarly reduce the amount of time ballots can arrive to be counted. Republicans also introduced a similar bill in North Carolina earlier this month. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed an identical bill in 2021 for ensuring “that some [votes] will go uncounted,” though North Carolina Republicans could have sufficient numbers to override another veto.

Read H.B. 2056 here.

Track the status of H.B. 2056 here.