Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew today planned to testify for a bill in the Kansas Legislature that would allow satellite locations for in-person advance voting.
Shew planned to say that satellite locations would increase the public's voting opportunities as the popularity of advance voting increases. In Douglas County state law allows advance voting by mail or in person only at the county courthouse.
"The current law restricts any form of satellite advance voting in Douglas County," Shew said. "As a result my ability to respond to citizens' needs and increase their opportunities at the polls is limited."
Shew said satellite advance voting would benefit small elections. He noted as an example the Dec. 22, 2005 election in Baldwin City on Sunday liquor sales brought about by citizen petition. The timing of the election caused concern about voter participation. If an advance voting location had been set up in Baldwin City there might have been an increase in voter participation, Shew said.
Right now only counties with 250,000 or more residents are allowed to offer in-person advance voting at satellite locations. Only Johnson and Sedgwick counties have populations that large.