Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew testified Tuesday for a bill in the Kansas Legislature that would allow satellite locations for advance voting.
Appearing before the House Committee on Elections and Government Organization, Shew said that satellite locations would increase the public's voting opportunities as the popularity of advance voting increases. Currently advance voting can be done by mail or in person 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 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.
Currently, 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.