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Kansas Purge of Voter Suspension List: Plain Wrong

Washington, D.C. – Today, the state of Kansas begins the process of purging tens of thousands of voters from a suspension list created for otherwise eligible voters who were unable to fulfill a restrictive proof-of-citizenship requirement. The 105 county elections officials now have to decide the fate of these voters – whether to take voters in their county off the voter rolls today or 90 days from now.

“In purging tens of thousands of voters, many of whom are young voters, the State of Kansas is plainly wrong,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the League of Women Voters of the U.S.

“After imposing an onerous and costly barrier by requiring documentary proof-of-citizenship when registering to vote, this purge adds insult to injury to tens of thousands of eligible voters.” said MacNamara. “Those unable to comply with this restrictive requirement were first suspended and are now being removed from the voter rolls. Individuals working on meeting the proof-of-citizenship requirements will need to start the voter registration process all over again.”

“This doesn’t sound like democracy to me,” added MacNamara.

“It will take a great deal of time and effort to contact each citizen being impacted by these restrictions and the League of Women Voters of Kansas is trying to do just that,” said MacNamara. “But it is a big job and they welcome organizations looking to help.”

“Our country is founded on the principle that we are all ‘created equal.’ Living up to this promise means that every citizen has the same freedoms and opportunities, especially the vote. Laws creating needless barriers to this most fundamental right are just plain wrong,” said MacNamara.

“The true integrity of our elections depends on protecting the rights of millions of eligible voters, not on the discriminatory laws and administrative practices concocted by politicians more interested in their own jobs than America’s future,” concluded MacNamara.

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Contact: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331, kceballos@lwv.org.

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