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Atchison County, Kansas, clerk again accepting voter registrations

Register to vote in Atchison, Kansas
Posted at 11:51 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-09 22:33:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Voters in Atchison, Kansas, will once again be able to register to vote in next month’s primary election.

The news comes a day after reports indicated that, due to circumstances surrounding a special city election on July 14, voters who hadn’t registered to vote by June 23 were ineligible to vote in both the July 14 special city election and the Aug. 2 primary election.

On Friday, the Kansas Secretary of State’s office said they had learned that the Atchison County Clerk is once again accepting voter registrations for next month’s primary.

The statewide deadline to register for the Aug. 2 primary is July 12.

“The fact that folks were going to be denied the ability to vote in that is a really serious problem," said Micah Kubic, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas. "It wasn’t just a trivial number of days ahead of time that the deadline was extended — this was weeks ahead of time."

A spokesperson at the Secretary of State’s office said the county clerk is also working to process any voter registrations that had been received but declined since their original June 23 deadline.

Normally, Kansas law outlines a voter registration deadline 20 days before the election date. There is a part of that law that changes the deadline if there is another election in the window.

“To have one community simply choose not to abide by the deadline for its own special reasons was a little odd, a little unusual," Kubic said.

The state spokesperson said they plan to “address this legal conflict during next year’s legislative session.”

“We should always do everything we can to make it easier to participate in democracy, not turning away people who are practically begging," Kubic said.