Kansas Senate Passes Bills Banning Drop Boxes and Limiting Mail-in Voting

UPDATE: On Friday, April 14, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D)  signed the House Substitute for Senate Bill 208. The enacted version does not involve drop boxes and instead tackles ethics and campaign finance rules. On Wednesday, April 19, Kelly vetoed Senate Bill 209.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Feb. 23, the Kansas Senate passed two anti-voting bills — Senate Bills 208 and 209 — which would ban drop boxes and reduce the time frame for mail-in ballots to be returned, respectively. In both cases, several Republicans joined with the Democrats to oppose the proposals.

S.B. 208, as originally introduced, would have restricted the number of drop boxes to just one per county. However, a Republican state senator offered an amendment on Feb. 22 that would ban drop boxes in the state entirely.

S.B. 209, meanwhile, would require mail-in ballots to be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Previously, ballots could arrive up to three days after Election Day and still be counted. Notably, this three-day grace period was previously enacted by the Kansas Legislature in 2017 with bipartisan, near unanimous approval. An identical bill passed the Kansas House on Feb. 22.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) could veto either measure should they reach her desk. While  Republicans could override her vetoes, they have struggled to do so in the past.

Read S.B. 208 here.

Read S.B. 209 here.

Track the status of S.B. 208 here.

Track the status of S.B. 209 here.