Gov. Laura Kelly has mailed voter registration applications to every individual who receives public assistance and is eligible to vote. The Department of Children and Families has mailed 150,512 voter registration applications and the Department of Health and Environment has mailed 127,255.
The mailings are part of Kelly’s efforts to bring DCF and DHE into full compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
The NVRA requires public assistance agencies to provide clients with voter registration services when they apply for or renew benefits, or change their address. Demos, Loud Light, the ACLU, and the ACLU of Kansas have been working with the governor’s office and the agencies since late 2019 to address compliance concerns. Consequently, DCF and DHE are improving their voter registration services. These “remedial” mailings ensure that clients receive federally mandated voter registration opportunities they may have missed before these improvements are completed. The mailings are being sent in English or Spanish, depending upon the client’s preferred language.
Voting rights groups applauded the governor’s efforts and urged clients to return completed voter registration applications to county officials prior to the Oct. 13 postmark deadline.
Davis Hammet, president of Topeka-based Loud Light, said that with the mailings and critical improvements to DCF’s and DHE’s voter registration services, Gov. Kelly, Secretary Howard, and Secretary Norman are doing their parts to ensure that all eligible Kansans have the chance to participate this November.
“If you receive Medicaid, SNAP, or LIEAP, please check your mailbox because your next letter could be your invitation to shape the future of Kansas and the entire country by voting this year,” Hammet said.