Letter to the editor: Protect voting
To the editor:
The League of Women Voters, as well as several community organizations in the Kansas Coalition for Citizen Participation, urge the Kansas secretary of state to exercise his authority under Kansas Statute 25-622 and automatically send mail-in ballots to all registered voters for the August and November elections. Because of the pandemic, election officials throughout the state are struggling to find polling places and poll workers.
The five states that have mailed ballots for all elections save money by renting fewer polling places and hiring fewer poll workers. These states with mailed ballot elections still have some in-person voting for those who do not receive a ballot or whose ballot was lost or damaged.
We see how unsafe in-person elections have been during the pandemic. Kansas has received over $4 million in federal funds to help with voting in 2020. Let’s use those funds to have a safe, primarily mail-in ballot election.
Join us in asking Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab, your election commissioners and state legislators to:
(1) Expand mail-in voting:
a. Ballot distribution to every registered voter with pre-paid postage and self-sealing envelopes.
b. Permit voters to track their mail-in ballot application and ballot acceptance online or via phone.
(2) Increase election transparency:
a. Notify voters of rejected/provisional ballots to give them the opportunity to correct the issue.
b. Multilingual PSAs about vote-by-mail options and safe, in-person voting practices.
(3) Provide safe and fair in-person voting opportunities:
a. Keep polling places safe and clean per public health guidelines.
b. Expand in-person early voting to reduce Election Day crowd size.
Kristin Salmans, president, League of Women Voters, Lawrence/Douglas County