WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A ruling by a Shawnee County judge Friday means more than 17,000 provisional Kansas voters will have their votes counted in next Tuesday’s statewide election.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach tried to block Kansans from voting in state and local elections who registered to vote when applying for or renewing their driver’s license.
KSN wanted to know if the court ruling would change how the Sedgwick County Election Commission will change how it gets ready for Tuesday’s election.
Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman said Kobach gave the state’s election commissioners instructions on how to count the ballots in question.
“We received instructions from the secretary of state’s office, and the instructions we received are that we are to provide a list of these voters to the election workers,” Lehman said.
Election workers at the polls Tuesday will have those voters cast provisional ballots. Then, the vote canvassing after the election will count everything after the polls close. Lehman said there are about 4,200 provisional voters in Sedgwick County that are impacted by Friday’s court ruling.
“This takes the work load off of tomorrow and puts it just on post-election” Lehman said. “And, you know, these were going to be ballots that we had to count by hand because we’re only counting part of them.”
What this means is election workers who will be processing Tuesday’s ballots will be able to run them through the electronic tabulators will have less work to do.
“The only thing that we will be doing is changing some of the instructions of the election workers, so we will work that all up and then we’ll give that to our supervising judges when they pick up their supplies on Monday.” Lehman said.
For Wichita’s League of Women Voters, co-president Sharon Ailslieger says the judge’s ruling is a victory for them.
“We see it as a positive, and we think this could happen with the other lawsuits and the other laws that they have,” Ailslieger said.
The League of Women Voters say they’re thrilled by the ruling and they’re hoping for more action in the future.
“The legislatures passed them and they have to unpass them,’ said Ailslieger.