WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two voter suppression bills became law in Kansas on Monday after the Republican Legislature overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto. House Bill 2332 and House Bill 2183 impose a host of new limits on mail-in voting and ballot return and transfer some key powers of election administration from the executive branch to the Legislature. This process of “legislative seizure” has been used by highly partisan Republican statehouses across the country to further their promotion of the “Big Lie” and alter the balance of power in Kansas elections.
Kelly vetoed the two bills last month because she said they were “designed to disenfranchise Kansans,” but the two-thirds majority of Republicans in the state Legislature was able to override her. The laws impose new limits on community ballot collection, disproportionately hurting disabled, senior and Native voters who live far from the polls. They require mail-in ballots to match a current signature on file with the Kansas secretary of state and ban the secretary from extending mail-in ballot return deadlines. They also prevent the executive and judicial branches from changing any election laws.