Kansas Law Blocked, State Won’t Appeal

A federal judge has permanently blocked a Kansas law prohibiting out-of-state groups from mailing advance ballot applications to voters who request them, ordering the state to pay the attorney fees of two national nonprofit groups who sued contending it disenfranchises voters.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil declared those provisions in the law violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and permanently enjoined the state from enforcing them.

The stipulated order – which the state agreed not to appeal – partially resolves the lawsuit brought by VoteAmerica and the Voter Participation Center.

The court sided with the voting rights groups on claims related to freedom of speech, freedom of association, and overbreadth of the law.

In January, Vratil granted a preliminary injunction against the new law before it took effect.

The law that is the focus of the litigation was one of two voting laws that were passed last year over the veto of Governor Laura Kelly.