Gov. Kelly ensures Kansas voters get registered

Published: Sep. 26, 2020 at 4:59 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly and state agencies are ensuring that Kansas voters can get registered to vote as part of an effort to ensure Kansas is in full compliance with federal voting laws.

Governor Laura Kelly says she and the Department of Children and Families and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic ensuring that every eligible Kansans has a meaningful opportunity to get registered to vote or update their voter registration.

“As we enter the homestretch of the 2020 election, it is vital that every eligible voter has a chance to register to vote and participate in our democracy,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “My administration has taken several steps to improve our outreach to Kansans – especially during this pandemic - and these efforts are already bearing fruit.”

Kelly said DCF and the KDHE began sending voter registration applications to residents entitled to agency-provided voter registration opportunities, one of Kansas’s recent efforts to ensure compliance with federal voting laws.

According to Gov. Kelly, in the November of 2019, Demos, Loud Light, the ACLU and the ACLU of Kansas completed an investigation of compliance with the National Voter Registration Act in Kansas and notified her and other state officials of area s that need improvement to ensure compliance with the NVRA. She said DF and the KDHE have been working on meaningful improvements to agency provided voter registration opportunities and assistance with clients filling out voter registration applications.

Among other improvements, Gov. Kelly said DCF and the KDHE upgraded and will continue to improve online application portals to provide clients with better assistance with voter registration. She said while some of the technology upgrades will take time to implement, the agencies have mailed voter registration applications to clients ensuring they receive opportunities to register to vote before the November General Elections.

According to the Kansas Governor, the process has already provided residents with an opportunity to register to vote or update registration during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said between March and September of 2020, DCF mailed applications to almost 151,000 clients, while the KDHE mailed 127,000 applications in September.

“As we weather this pandemic, with many individuals quarantined at home and practicing social distancing, it is important we provide this service to Kansans,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I am committed to making sure eligible Kansas voters are not left behind.”

Gov. Kelly said she is encouraging all eligible voters to register. She said those that receive a voter registration application in the mail are encouraged to complete the application to register as quickly a possible to ensure it reaches election offices before the Oct. 13 deadline.

Eligible Kansans may register to vote online, however, a Kansas driver’s license or state identification card is required to register on the Kansas registration page.

Eligible voters may also register here.

Gov. Kelly said she also encourages every registered voter to vote by mail and any registered voter in the state is eligible to do so. She said applications for mail-in ballots can be found here.

According to Gov. Kelly, applications for a mail ballot must be returned by Oct. 27, to county election officials. She said ballots will be mailed to those applying beginning on Oct. 14. She said all ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received n county election offices by the close of business on Nov. 6.

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