May 18, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Voter Suppression Alert: Dems Want Orman Off Guv Ballot on Technicality

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Among the more prominent of their many pieties, Kansas Democrats would have Kansas citizens believe they lose sleep at night worrying about voter suppression.

“Democrats have regularly criticized Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, over policies they believe suppress voter turnout,” the AP’s John Hanna wrote matter-of-factly a few weeks ago. “No state had gone further in requiring prospective voters to provide papers documenting their U.S. citizenship when registering.”

Those who thought Democratic concern about the voting rights of Kansas citizens a sham have had their suspicions confirmed. Attorney Will Lawrence, the chief of staff for Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, filed a formal objection to Independent candidate Greg Orman’s candidacy for Kansas governor.

Dem nominee Kelly also voted in favor of Kobach’s voting bill in 2011.

The stated reason for the objection is stunningly petty. According to the AP’s Hanna, Lawrence has argued “that election officials in seven counties took one day more than allowed by state law to validate more than 6,000 of Orman’s signatures, finishing Friday.”

That is not all: “The objection also raised questions about whether petitions were properly notarized and whether some circulators were qualified under state law to gather signatures.”

The real reason that Democrats are eager to negate the will of some 7,000 Kansas citizens, Hanna admits, is because “Orman stoked fears that his bid would imperil Democrats’ chances of winning.”

This much is obvious. “They want to avoid giving voters a real choice at all costs,” said Orman spokesman Sam Edelen told Hanna. Edelen called the Democratic objection “frivolous,” adding that it shows “the lengths to which the supporters of the failed system will go.”

This gesture, likely to be unsuccessful, will make it more difficult for Democrats to accuse Kobach of voter suppression. So will one other inconvenient fact: Democratic nominee Sen. Laura Kelly voted in favor of Kobach’s tougher voting requirements when the bill came before the legislature in 2011.


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