Kansas Voter Suppression Law Blocked by Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a federal court allowed a case against a new Kansas voter suppression law to proceed. The court also granted a preliminary injunction against the law, blocking its enforcement while the case moves forward. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of VoteAmerica and Voter Participation Center in June, is challenging House Bill 2332, which restricts nonpartisan out-of-state organizations from providing mail-in ballot applications to registered voters and criminalizes the mailing of personalized advance ballot (similar to early voting in other states) applications. The plaintiffs argue that this law is overbroad and it violates the First and 14th Amendments by deterring the freedom to associate and political speech, as well as the dormant Commerce Clause because it burdens interstate commerce.
The court rejected the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case, finding that the plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged all of their claims and each would move forward in court in order to determine their constitutionality. The court also granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, blocking H.B. 2332 from being enforced until further order from the court. The court found that the plaintiffs — organizations that were previously prohibited from engaging in political activities prohibited by this law — demonstrated that they would face harm absent a preliminary injunction, writing that the “Plaintiffs have produced evidence of significant burdens associated with HB 2332, and defendants have provided almost no factual basis for disputing plaintiffs’ claims that HB 2332 will drastically limit the number of voices advocating for the politically controversial topic of voting by mail, limit the audience which proponents can reach and make it less likely that proponents will gather the necessary support to continue sharing their message.”