Protecting your vote

Among all the positions at stake in the election on November 6th, only one has the opportunity to affect every election to come. Governors can sign and veto laws, the Legislature is responsible for writing those laws, and our Representatives in Washington DC look out for our state and the nation as a whole. But all of those public officials are put there by voters. And only one position in this election helps decide who in Kansas gets to vote: the Secretary of State.

Our current Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, has raised the profile of the position and made a name for himself by "protecting" our elections. He has secured unprecedented prosecutorial rights, and has used that power to ferret out voter fraud in... well, in just a handful of cases. In looking at elections spanning two decades, Kobach's own office trumpeted in his recent trial that they found 40 cases of voter fraud in a county with 130,000 registered voters. Twenty years of voting. 130,000 registered voters. So more than two million opportunities to cast votes, and 40 cases were found. And of those 40, most were honest mistakes, and only 5 actual ballots were cast. Five fraudulent ballots out of more than 2 million opportunities.

While he was pursuing these five voters, in just the last few years the Secretary of State's Office has been caught misinforming county election officers of their requirements under the law, preventing over 30,000 Kansans from registering to vote, and now illegally requiring proof of citizenship to vote. Their website is rife with outdated information, and the most populous county in the state had major problems with accurate and timely vote counting in the recent primary.

Voting is how this all works, protect it

To be clear, the vote is the basis of our democracy. Each citizen is guaranteed the right to vote, and any efforts to curtail that right, with undue requirements, random polling locations, or gerrymandered voting districts should be stopped.

Imagine if, instead of hurdles to overcome when you go vote, someone were trying to make voting easier. Brian McClendon is running to replace Kris Kobach as Secretary of State. He has a deep technology background, and even as a private citizen has already made voting simpler and more accessible. He founded, a website where you can register to vote, check your registration, and even apply for an advance mail-in ballot (do it now!), all online (and from your phone!).

Isn't that the sort of initiative the Secretary of State should be taking? Instead of running to Washington D.C. to raise his profile with a national voter fraud panel that ultimately was shut down in disgrace? Shouldn't the Secretary of State be protecting our right to vote, not preventing voters from exercising that right?

Vote the whole ballot

When you go to vote on November 6th, look beyond Congress, Governor, and even your State Representatives, at the other positions on the ballot. Vote for those people who will work hardest to protect you and your rights. We know it's a lot of work, thinking about each position, but if you stick with us, we'll help you, and your vote can make a real difference.

It starts here. With you. Do more than vote.

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