Following intervention from the ACLU of Kansas, Atchison County Clerk Michelle Phillips has reversed a previous decision that ended voter registration for the Aug. 2 election early on June 23.
That means anyone living in Atchison County, including the City of Atchison can register ahead of the July 12 deadline. The books will officially close at 5 p.m. that day.
The reason for the initial closure of voter registration on June 23 had been in anticipation of the City of Atchison’s July 14 special election on a sales tax referendum. The ACLU worked with the Secretary of State’s office to correct the error as part of the affiliate’s nonpartisan Election Protection Program.
All voters who were turned away will be contacted by the Clerk’s office to inform them their registration form will be processed or to return to register. Kansas voters are set to decide the constitutionality of abortion rights on Aug. 2, on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The ACLU says it threatened to bring litigation upon learning that voters were being turned away nearly three weeks before the state registration deadline, saying the City of Atchison and the County Clerk made no meaningful attempt to notify residents of the earlier deadline.
Frustrated residents voiced their concerns at Tuesday’s Atchison City Council meeting.