January 31, 2023

Kansas voters tapped into their pro-freedom roots last year, overwhelmingly rejecting a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have taken away the fundamental right to an abortion in the state constitution by 16 points—a 165,000 vote difference.

Despite this, lawmakers opened the 2023 legislative session by trying to further curtail abortion access anyway.

It’s clear our lawmakers don’t always represent our values, and this doesn’t just show up in the landscape for reproductive freedom. It also shows up in one of the most fundamental parts of our democratic process–voting rights.

Already this session, lawmakers have introduced numerous bills to curb our access to voting.

But when it comes to expanding access, many changes can happen without spinning your wheels in the halls of the Topeka Statehouse. Many decisions about the election process happen at your local county courthouse, where county clerks have the power to make democracy more accessible in many ways.

The constitutional right to vote is the heart of our democracy and system of governance. The right to vote is the vehicle through which a citizen has a voice in selecting and holding accountable those in power. If we sincerely believe in a representative government, we should strive to make it easier, not harder, for all eligible Kansans to vote. We should remove the unnecessary barriers throughout the voting process, from registering, to casting a ballot, to ensuring that every ballot counts. Expanding early voting access through increasing hours and locations is a simple but effective way to ensure voters have access in between working, caring for families, and other responsibilities.

It’s in the details of the voting process that we’ll improve access for everyday Kansans – and that access for the people is what underlies the very values of a representative democracy.

It’s these values that bring us to your county to strategize for local election reform in the coming months. Are you feeling powerless in the fight against extremism? You shouldn’t. The New York Times estimates that only 27% of eligible voters participate in local elections, and we can only imagine how this number could change if there were fewer barriers between voters and casting their ballots.

That’s why we’re coming to your county to strategize for local election reform – with you.

RSVP today for Your Democracy is Local: Meet Your Organizer and Strategize for Local Election Reform:

Last August, we saw the power of when Kansans put aside partisan differences and dig deep to think meaningfully about how we respect one another’s rights – and turn out to vote accordingly. Our hope is to ensure that last August is less of a historic anomaly and instead, that what we call record turnout becomes the norm in every county – starting with yours.