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Morning Sun
  • Dems charge GOP voter intimidation

  • The Kansas Democratic Party has leveled a charge of voter intimidation and has filed a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General’s office.

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  • The Kansas Democratic Party has leveled a charge of voter intimidation and has filed a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General’s office.
    According to the Kansas Democratic Party, they received allegations from “individual” voters from around Kansas who claimed to have received a robo-call from who they called an “as yet named Republican organization” reminding them to bring their voter registration card and proof of home ownership with them to the polls on Nov. 3.
    First, the election is slated for Nov. 2 and second, Kansas voters are not required to bring a voter registration card nor proof of home ownership to the polls when they vote.
    “There is no place for voter intimidation in our electoral process,” said Kansas Democratic Party Chairman Larry Gates. “Every Kansas voter should feel comfortable with their right to cast a ballot and understand tactics like these are lies meant to scare them away from exercising that right.”
    Gavin Young, spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said that there has been an investigation opened into the allegations because voter intimidation is a felony under Kansas law.
    A statute passed by the Kansas Legislature in 2001 (K.S.A. 25-2415) defines voter intimidation as the “threatening, coercing or attempting to intimidate, threaten or coerce any person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such person to vote or to vote as he may choose.”
    That law includes mailing, publishing, broadcasting, telephoning or transmitting any false information.
    The law was established after a 2000 investigation by then-Attorney General Carla Stovall which looked into multiple cases on Douglas County where people were told to bring their white or blue voter registration card when they voted. Stovall, at the time, said that the actions were wrong, but not illegal, prompting the Legislature to enact the law making it illegal to provide false information to voters.
    Kansas Republican Party Executive Director Ashley McMillan called the claim by state Democrats irresponsible.
    “We don’t have any indication that it has come from a Republican organization and it certainly did not come from us,” McMillan said. “Any call made by the KRP clearly identified itself, without exception, according to state guidelines.”
    At present, Young said that the investigation has begun and would not provide specific details to the investigation.
    “The investigation will be into the specific complaints,” Young said. “In talking to the investigator, he stated he is looking into complaints across the state.”
    He added that if voters feel they have received such a call or have to report any voter intimidation claim, they can call the Kansas Attorney General’s office at 1-800-432-2310.
    Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140.
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