OLATHE, Kan. — The election commissioner in Johnson County, Kansas says voter registration has gone up over the last week and a half.
Fred Sherman normally said the August primary is reserved for the two main political parties to narrow down their candidates and decide who will face off in November’s general election. In addition to that in Kansas, voters are now seeing signs both for and against the Value Them Both Amendment.
“In the last two weeks, we have seen an uptick or kind of an increase in inquires for both voter registration as well as applications for vote by mail,” Sherman said Tuesday. “Rarely has there ever been a ballot measure that everyone gets to vote on, and the Constitutional Amendment as well as the County Commission Chairman’s race is another measure that every registered voter will be able to vote on.”
A Yes vote would allow Kansas lawmakers to amend the state constitution and further regulate abortion, which is currently legal up to 22 weeks. A No vote on the amendment would keep abortion as a state constitutional right.
“I think typically the November elections is kind of in people’s minds as almost a holiday or people have it set in mind whereas in August, this election has been a little more kind of elusive in people’s minds,” Sherman continued when asked about the amendment. “But the fact that there’s campaign money out there for the issue as well as certain races is bringing the issue to voters.”
In Johnson County, more than 2,000 new voters registered through the DMV this past week, plus dozens more registered in-person at the election office.
It all makes the stakes that much higher for the people working on each campaign.
“The people of Kansas before this decision was even made have always just wanted reasonable limits on the abortion industry,” Value Them Both Spokeswoman Mackenzie Haddix said Tuesday. “So we are motivated, but we also know we have a lot of work to do.”
“I would say this is not about reasonable regulation,” Kansans For Constitutional Freedom Spokeswoman Ashley All said Tuesday. “This is about taking one more step towards banning abortion out right in our state.”
The deadline to register to vote for the August 2 primary is Tuesday, July 12. The deadline to register to vote in Missouri for their primary on the exact same day, is Wednesday, July 6.