Kansas Governor Laura Kelly rejected two election bills on Friday. One is to tighten pre-mailing rules and the other is to prevent governments and judiciaries from changing election legislation.
Democrat Kelly, who was silent about the changes proposed by the Republican majority, issued a statement labeling them as “voter oppression.”
“This is … a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. It’s designed to deprive Kansas of its rights, making it harder for Kansas to participate in the democratic process, rather than stopping fraudulent elections. “It’s done,” Kelly said.
House Bill 2332 and House Bill 2183 are part of a national Republican effort to limit access to ballots following unfounded claims of fraudulent voting in the 2020 elections.
Kelly warned that passing such a law could sacrifice state economic opportunities. Violent repulsion From a Georgia company after the state legislature passed a major overhaul of voting law.
Both bills passed the Senate with a non-veto majority. However, they needed four more votes in the House of Representatives to limit pre-voting to become law, and another to veto Kelly’s veto on restrictions on executive and judicial authorities. I will.
Republican Derby and chairman of the House of Representatives election committee, Blake Carpenter, said he believed Kansas would reach out to their representatives ahead of potential priority voting.
“I think our citizens have seen these other states and are really skeptical about the relevance and credibility of what happened,” Carpenter said. “We need to do everything we can here in Kansas to make the results of the elections credible for Republicans and Democrats.”
Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab reported that Kansas held a “free and fair” election last year. Proponents say they are trying to avoid future problems.
“I’m disappointed when the governor decides to exercise his veto while trying to ensure the integrity of the election,” said Senator Richard Hilderbrand, a Republican of Galina. “We are supposed to act proactively. To ensure the integrity of the election, we need to do it if we can and can do a better job.”
Opponents said measures to limit the number of pre-ballots that someone could return, especially on behalf of other voters, would help make voting more difficult, especially for people with disabilities and the elderly.
“These election bills are aimed at disproportionately harming senior citizens, college students, and members of the military seeking to exercise their right to vote in Kansas. In addition, they are other elected officials. “We continue to have a dangerous tendency to deprive us of power,” said Tom Sawyer, leader of the House of Representatives, in a statement praising the governor’s decision.
House Bill 2332 prohibits government agencies and judiciaries from drafting election legislation. It also prevents the Secretary of State from making a consent judgment with the court without legislative approval.
This measure was triggered by decisions in two states that are crucial to the 2020 elections.
One was the decision of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Extend the deadline For ballots.The other is Consent judgment The Secretary of State of Georgia has signed to establish a standard for checking ballot signatures. The proceedings alleged that the ballots of black voters were disqualified disproportionately.
The Postal Voting Bill also creates disclosure requirements for organizations that distribute information about mail voting. The Secretary of State requires voters to maintain their place of residence in addition to their mailing address. It also creates new election tampering crimes.
The residence address requirement stops allegations of fraudulent elections filed against former US MP Steve Watkins who listed his home address as a UPS Store.
House Bill 2183 focuses primarily on voting by mail. This limits who is allowed to return mail ballots to others and makes it a punishment for one person to return mail ballots more than 10 times. The bill also requires the signature of ballots to match the signatures registered by the electoral authorities, creating the possibility that votes will be abandoned and prohibiting the Secretary of State from extending the deadline for mail ballots. ing.
The bill also makes it illegal to trace ballot postmarks and prohibits the Election Administration from receiving money from non-state organizations to control elections.
“The bill is based on false information and misunderstandings and can have a chilling effect on Kansas democracy. Governor Kelly vetoes the bill and keeps it vetoed by Kansas voters. Thank you for calling on lawmakers to protect the veto, “said President Davis Hammett of Loudlight Action, a veto defender, in a statement.
The original version of this story erroneously stated that the measures would limit legislative powers. They limit the authority of the judiciary.