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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

Timing Of Kansas Court Ruling May Have Impacted Primary Voter Turnout


It appears only a small number of voters affected by a recent court ruling turned out at the polls for the Kansas primaries.

A judge ruled just days before the election that 17,000 people who registered to vote at the DMV - but didn’t turn in a citizenship document - would be allowed to vote in local, state and federal races.

But only about a dozen affected voters cast ballots in Johnson County and even fewer did so in Shawnee County.

Mark Johnson is an attorney involved in a lawsuit against Kansas voting laws. He says it’s likely many of the people affected by the ruling were confused about whether their votes would be counted.

“It was just too late in the process, too little time before the primary to get the word effectively communicated to those folks that they should turn out because their votes were all going to be counted,” Johnson says.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach predicted there would be a low turnout from the group. He suspects many of those affected by the court ruling were not likely to vote in the first place or may have moved.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.