FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 12, 2019
CONTACT: Mark McCormick, Director of Strategic Communications, 913-490-4105, [email protected]
OVERLAND PARK, KS - Alejandro Rangel-Lopez, a lead plaintiff in a recently settled lawsuit that forced Ford County election officials to open two, new Dodge City polling places, will share with a U.S. House committee Feb. 14 at 8:30 a.m. EST how he got involved in the effort, a government advisory announced this afternoon.
At the hearing, Rangel-Lopez also plans to endorse the “For the People Act” or H.R. 1, a package of reforms aimed at restoring confidence in American democracy by reducing the role of money in politics, restoring ethical standards for government and strengthening voter protection laws.
“Until a month ago, Dodge City only had one polling place for nearly 13,000 voters and while that’s bad enough to make it one of the most burdened polling places in the state, it was at the very least, centrally located, which can’t be said about the location that was chosen for the 2018 midterm elections,” Rangel-Lopez said in remarks he planned to share with the committee. “That location was moved south of town, outside the city limits.”
The Dodge City High School Senior was a named plaintiff in a lawsuit filed last fall by the ACLU of Kansas titled, “League of United Latin American Citizens, Kansas and Alejandro Rangel-Lopez vs. Deborah Cox, Ford County Clerk.”
The lawsuit sought four new polling places in the town where more than 13,000 people used one polling place that was moved to an expo center outside the city limits just prior to November’s general election. The suit also sought to stop the use of the expo center as a polling site.
Last month, Cox announced that she’d open two new polling places inside the city limits and no longer would consider the expo center for polling place purposes.
Rangel-Lopez said in his prepared remarks that people rely on elected officials to make voting as easy as possible, but that’s not what’s happening.
“The clerk spent nearly $100,000 of taxpayer money for legal fees fighting our efforts to make polling places more accessible,” he said.
He later adds, “People across the country from Georgia to North Dakota to Texas and my home state are making it more difficult for citizens to vote rather than expanding our democracy.”
Many of the measures undermining people’s right to vote, he said, “are being perpetrated by the very officials elected or selected to protect the system and people’s voting rights.”
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.