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Voting rights case costs Ford County about $70,000 so far

Ford County has paid more than $70,000 in legal fees so far to a firm that represented its county clerk in a lawsuit filed after Dodge City’s only polling place was moved outside city limits for November’s general election.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports a document it received through an open records request shows the county paid the Hinkle Law Firm $71,481 in October and November to defend County Clerk Debbie Cox.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Cox in late October because the location inside the city was scheduled to undergo construction.  The ACLU argued moving the site made it more difficult for people to vote, particularly the city’s large Hispanic population.

Days before the election, a federal judge denied the ACLU’s request to keep the original site open.

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