Campaign Legal Center (CLC) has filed suit in federal court against the state of Kansas and a local District Attorney to block anti-voter provisions in H.B. 2332.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of VoteAmerica and the Voter Participation Center, two nonprofit charitable organizations focused on encouraging voters to vote by mail, seeks to block enforcement of a new Kansas law restricting the distribution of advance mail ballot applications to voters in the state.
Earlier this year, the Kansas legislature overrode the governor’s veto and passed H.B. 2332, an omnibus elections bill that prohibits out-of-state entities from mailing advance mail ballot applications to any voter in the state, in violation of the organizations’ ability to engage in voter engagement efforts that constitutes political speech protected by the First Amendment.
H.B. 2332 also criminalizes the mailing of advance mail ballot applications personalized with the voter’s name, address and other information, even if the voter provided that information and specifically requested an advance mail ballot application.
More Americans than ever voted by mail last year, which meant that even during a pandemic there was record high turnout, which is a sign of a healthy democracy.
It’s a shame that politicians in Kansas see this as a threat to their power.
Beyond just targeting voters, however, laws like H.B. 2332 specifically take aim at the ability of nonpartisan, public interest organizations to help people navigate confusing systems and encourage them to exercise their ability to vote by mail. H.B. 2332 is unconstitutional, and we hope the court will strike it down.
Kansas’s new law is the latest in a deeply unpopular nationwide trend by state legislatures moving to restrict the freedom to vote. A recent poll by Strategies 360 found that Americans emphatically endorse efforts over the past year to give voters more options for voting safely like expanding early voting and voting-by-mail.
We must work together to ensure Americans can safely and freely cast our ballots so that every voice is heard and our elections reflect the will of the people.