Well, that’s over.
Voters in Kansas and across the nation stepped up to vote on Tuesday, and the result was — well, something. Democrats took the U.S. House of Representatives, and in Kansas they saw Laura Kelly win as governor and Sharice Davids topple Kevin Yoder for a House seat. On the other hand, Republicans maintained their control of the U.S. House and the Kansas Legislature.
It turns out our country and state aren’t satisfied, but they’re perhaps not furious, either. Perhaps what they seem to want most is a bit of normalcy and gridlock.
Think about it. Instead of the firebrand rhetoric of Kris Kobach, voters picked the sensible, no-drama Laura Kelly. But they then furnished her with a Legislature packed with Republicans, all but ensuring mountains of debate and hard-fought compromises. The story is the same in the U.S. House, where a Democratic majority will serve as a newfound check on President Trump.
Divided government isn’t fun for either party. It can be frustrating for partisans on both sides. But people across the country seem to like the arrangement.
Trump will face investigations aplenty from the House, and attempts to legislatively repeal the Affordable Care Act are gone for now. And Kelly will be forced to work with conservative and moderate Republicans if she hopes to rack up any policy wins.
They should all play nice, Democrats and Republicans, although we’re fairly sure they won’t listen to us.
Nationally, though, we should take away some lessons from this campaign season.
Vile, racist rhetoric was spread through campaign ads and social media posts. For the health of our public discourse and the promise of America, it must end.
Gerrymandered districts across the country remain a big problem, often disadvantaging Democrats. Every vote in every district across the country should count equally.
Finally, too many states — including Kansans — have made it too difficult to cast ballots. Researchers have shown repeatedly that voter fraud is nearly nonexistent. But state officials across the nation have put laws in place that disproportionately affect people of color.
Now that we have our results, Kansans and all Americans should unite to make voting easy, secure and available to all who qualify.
Perhaps that’s a bipartisan project that our new governor and Legislature might want to tackle in the months and years ahead.