The onslaught of negative political advertising has left many Kansans eager for an end to this year’s election season.
Tuesday brings all-important Republican primary elections in the Sunflower State, when eligible voters will be asked to advance candidates for the Kansas House and Kansas Senate; county offices; and seats in Congress.
Considering the importance of every race — and even with all of the negativity — there’s no excuse for not voting.
Unfortunately, too many people pass on their civic duty.
The fear always is in seeing a minority of eligible voters at the polls, an all-too-common trend that’s more troubling due to deliberate efforts to keep people away — particularly Voter ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements passed in Kansas as a supposed way to counter illegal immigrants voting, when no such thing is happening.
The unnecessary voter requirements actually were a tea-party strategy to discourage participation from certain people, including many who would not embrace the far-right candidates aligned with Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the chief instigator of changes that made it more difficult to vote.
Not surprisingly, Kobach also failed to prove the rampant voter fraud he claimed was going on in the state.
While the Kansas Legislature should review voting-related restrictions doing more harm than good, a recent court ruling at least delivered a welcome setback to Kobach’s corrupt crusade.
On Friday, a Shawnee County judge ruled the 17,500 or so voters who registered at the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles, but did not provide state-required proof of citizenship, still must be allowed to vote in all their precinct’s federal, state and local races in Tuesday’s primaries.
Kobach only wanted to allow those voters to cast ballots for federal candidates, shutting them out of state and local races.
Every policymaker should know such efforts to discourage voter participation make no sense when attention instead should be on getting more people to the polls. Voter apathy — not voter fraud — remains the real problem.
People may differ in their political positions, but at the end of the day everyone should agree we need more participation in elections.
Please exercise your precious, fundamental right to vote this Tuesday.