Lawmakers override Governor’s vetoes on pair of elections law bills

(WAVE News)
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 3:58 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A pair of bills changing Kansas election laws will become law.

State lawmakers Monday successfully override Gov. Laura Kelly’s vetoes of the measures.

Supporters say the bills make changes that ensure fair, secure elections.

“We want to make sure that outside money doesn’t come into our elections and potentially corrupt them and we want to make sure that people know that when they cast their ballet, that it is being taken to the right place, it is being counted by the right person, and ultimately the people with the most votes are the ones holding office in Kansas,” said State Representative, Blaine Finch.

However, opponents say the changes will make it harder for some people to cast a ballot.

“If you’re like a disabled person or an elderly person, its going to be more difficult to get your ballet turned in. Its unfortunate because it has a chance to suppress voter turnout and I think that is bad,” said House Democratic Leader, Tom Sawyer.

Among other things, one of the measures - HB 2183 - would require a person to give written authorization for someone else to drop off their advance ballot. It would also limit to 10 the number of ballots someone could deliver on others’ behalf, and prohibit a candidate from delivering anyone’s ballots except their own or those of immediate family members. It also require elections officials to match signatures on advance ballots with one file in order for the ballot count.

The other bill - HB 2332 - requires individuals or organizations who send mail soliciting voters to request advance ballots to identify themselves. In addition, it prohibits the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch from altering election laws, and requires the Secretary of State to get approval from the Legislative Coordinating Council before entering into consent decrees with any court.

The override votes on HB 2183 were 85-38 in the House and 28-12 in the Senate. Read more about HB 2183 here.

The House voted 86-37 on HB 2332, while the Senate voted 28-12. Read more about HB 2332 here.

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