Alliance for Free Citizens Scores a Win in Kansas
On Monday, May 3, 2021, the Kansas Legislature overrode the governor’s veto to enact a major election reform bill, H.B. 2183. The override vote was 85-38 in the House of Representatives and 28-12 in the Senate.
Included in the bill was a crucial provision requiring county election officers to verify that the signature on an envelope containing a mail-in (or “advance”) ballot matches the signature on file for that voter. If the signatures don’t match, the ballot can’t be counted. Counties are permitted to contact voters to give them a second chance to sign, however, in case a voter was careless in signing the envelope the first time.
The language for that provision was originally drafted by the Alliance for Free Citizens and is found in Section 3(c) of the model Advance Ballot Confidence Act. Most of the remaining provisions of the Advance Ballot Confidence Act were already part of Kansas law.
The General Counsel of the Alliance for Free Citizens, Kris Kobach, said, “This is an important part of securing the mail-in ballot process. When there is a requirement that the signature on a ballot envelope must match the signature on file, it becomes virtually impossible to dump fraudulent ballots into the system. Each ballot must be tied to a specific voter, and each ballot must contain a signature that matches that voter. Every state should have this requirement in its election laws.”