Voting Rights Groups in Kansas Forced to Halt Registration Drives
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The League of Women Voters of Kansas (LWVK) and other voting rights groups announced on Thursday that they are halting their voter registration drives in order to comply with new voter suppression laws in the state. The legislation, House Bill 2183 and House Bill 2332, include a provision that criminalizes any activity that “gives the appearance of being an election official,” a standard that the LWVK says is unclear and broad and could result in their voter registration volunteers facing criminal prosecution or jail time.
The LWVK and voting rights groups Loud Light, Kansas Appleseed and Topeka Independent Resource Center sued the state over these laws back in early June, alleging that they violate the Kansas Constitution by unduly burdening Kansans’ right to vote. They filed for a partial preliminary injunction, which would have stopped the laws from going into effect until the court rules on their constitutionality, but a judge has not yet granted that request. As such, the laws are currently in effect in Kansas and voting rights groups have been forced to pause their voter registration efforts.