Return to News Mar 21, 2023

Kansas Appeals Court Allows Voting Advocates to Continue Lawsuit Against Voter Suppression Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an order issued on Friday, March 17, the Kansas Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that a lawsuit challenging two voter suppression laws, K.S.A. 25-2437 and K.S.A. 25-1124(h), could move forward.  

Elias Law Group attorneys represent several Kansas organizations that work to enfranchise voters who are often excluded from the political process, as well as three individual voters. These plaintiffs include Loud Light, the Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, and the Topeka Independent Resource Center. They are challenging the signature matching provision (K.S.A. 25-1124(h)) and ballot collection restriction (K.S.A. 25-2437) on the grounds that they impose new and unnecessary restrictions on the plaintiffs’ work educating Kansans about their right to vote and helping them to return their ballots to election officials in time to be counted, and impose unjustified requirements that result in the rejection of ballots cast by entirely lawful voters. On Friday, the Court of Appeals found that both challenged provisions “impair the right to vote.”  

“History records the struggle Kansans experienced when joining the Union of States. It was by free elections that we gained statehood. Thus, voting rights are preserved in the Kansas Constitution. Great care must be taken when trying to limit or infringe on those rights. Voting was important then. Voting is important now,” Judge Stephen Hill wrote. 

Elias Law Group partner Elisabeth Frost argued the case for the plaintiffs before the Court of Appeals and had this to say about the opinion: “This decision is a huge win for Kansas voters, and for the organizations and individuals who stepped up to challenge unconstitutional voter suppression laws. We are so proud to represent the plaintiffs in this litigation who work so hard to enfranchise their fellow citizens and we look forward to proving that these voter suppression laws must be struck down for good.”  

Last Friday’s ruling reversed a lower court decision from April 2022, which dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against the two anti-voting provisions on grounds that the Court of Appeals found to be erroneous. Following the reversal, litigation to determine the legality of these provisions will continue.   

Elias Law Group attorneys Elisabeth Frost, Justin Baxenberg, Hal Brewster, Mollie DiBrell, Richard Medina, and Marisa O’Gara contributed to this case.