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Judge Rules Provisional Ballot Voter’s Names Must Be Released

Associated Press

Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab must release the names of people who cast provisional ballots in the 2018 general election, including whether their votes were counted, a Kansas judge ruled.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas on Tuesday called the court’s decision a “resounding rebuke” to Schwab’s office and a win for all Kansas voters.

“Now that we’ve secured the right to access this information, our client can start letting voters know if their votes counted in the last election and help Kansans who encounter similar problems in upcoming elections,” Lauren Bonds, the legal director for the ACLU of Kansas, said in a statement.

Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson ruled in a lawsuit filed last month on behalf of Loud Light, a nonprofit group whose mission is to increase voter turnout, and voting rights advocate Davis Hammet.

Schwab’s office blasted the decision.

“The Kansas Judiciary, once again, paid disrespect to the intent of policy,” Schwab said in a statement. “Our priority has been, and will continue to be, that every voter has the right to cast a ballot without fear of harassment, intimidation, or retaliation. The entitlement of these activist organizations to confidential information of those they also claim to champion is sad.”

About 29,000 provisional ballots were cast in the 2018 general election in Kansas, the ruling noted.

Voters are given provisional ballots if they do not appear to be registered, if they fail to present the required identification, if their signature doesn’t match the one on file, or if they are trying to vote at the wrong polling place.

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