Kris Kobach suggested people “vote with their feet” when responding to accusations about Voter ID Laws and voter suppression, meaning they could just leave Kansas if they didn’t like what was happening.
And Dodge City is a perfect example of this attitude and how voter suppression is in motion in Kansas. The average polling place in Kansas normally serves 1,200 people. Dodge City moved their sole polling place one mile outside of town, which is expected to serve 13,000 people, according to “The Wichita Eagle.”
Additionally, there is no sidewalk access to this polling place and to get there, one would have to walk over train tracks and across a state highway.
This is a thinly veiled attempt to only allow voters who have access to cars to vote, rooting out the poor and others without transportation.
After the ACLU objected to this, and sent a letter to Debbie Cox, the local official in charge of elections, she forwarded the notice to Kris Kobach with an “LOL,” according to “The Wichita Eagle.”
We don’t think voter suppression is funny, much less deserving of an “LOL.” In the past, we have taken Tammy Vopat, the Lyon County Clerk, for granted.
Debbie Cox and the active voter suppression in Dodge City puts things into perspective. We’re thankful that we have plenty of polling places in Emporia. We’re grateful that our county clerk hasn’t hired a law firm to deal with this issue of voter suppression and has refused to talk to the media.
Instead, Tammy Vopat has always been helpful to The Bulletin. Her office has been responsive and accountable.
If we, as Kansans, truly love the freedom to vote, a freedom our people fought and died for, then we should take these actions by Debbie Cox and Kris Kobach as an affront to our freedoms.
This is a new kind of poll tax, of the same cloth that the Jim Crow poll taxes were cut from. Instead of levying a poll tax, the new “tax” is that you must overcome distance to vote.
If you believe in the right to vote, that everyone should have access to vote and the importance of voting in maintaining our democracy, then call the state office and demand more polling places for Dodge City.
Our democracy depends on it.