Taking action for racial and economic equity.

KanVote Call to Action: Attorney General Derek Schmidt

ROLE IN THE PROBLEM: As Kansas’s chief legal official, Attorney General Derek Schmidt has made no official statement regarding the constitutionality of Kansas voter registration requirements. The Supreme Court of the United States struck down voter registration requirements in Arizona that were essentially identical to those in Kansas.  Rather than issue an official response, AG Schmidt deferred questions and concerns to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, allowing a voter crisis to grow into a constitutional crisis. Additionally, AG Schmidt has forfeited his role as Kansas’s chief legal official to Kobach by publicly condoning the Secretary of State’s filing of a lawsuit against a federal commission in an effort to legitimize the voter registration requirement.

ROLE IN THE SOLUTION: Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt should issue a public statement regarding the constitutionality of Kansas voter requirements so that it may be considered by state officials and lawmakers as they work to find a solution to the current voter crisis.

HIS RESPONSE:KanVote submitted a petition with the signatures of over 1,300 Kansans calling on Attorney General Derek Schmidt to issue an official statement regarding the constitutionality of Kansas’s voter registration restriction in light of the SCOTUS decision. We received no response.

We found out where Attorney General Derek Schmidt would be during our 9/3 day of action, so we decided to pay him a visit. We found out the room and time of a legislative hearing that Schmidt was to attend. Our group of about 75 people created an aisle, or a gauntlet if you will, that each of the hearing’s attendees would have to walk through before entering the committee room. We planned to hand Schmidt the petition as well as a letter asking for his official statement.

With Schmidt nowhere to be found, we heard that the hearing was postponed for 15 minutes. After waiting nearly 20 minutes past the time the hearing was supposed to start, we decided to leave the letter and the petition signatures with Schmidt’s staff in Memorial Hall, where we were scheduled to meet with the Office of the Secretary of State. When we delivered the letter and petition, knowing that Schmidt was scheduled to attend the hearing, we asked if he could be made available to receive our message. We were told that he was on a conference call.

With over 100 supporters from around the state convened in Topeka, KanVote was promptly  informed that Schmidt had been spotted with a judge that was to be confirmed during the held-up legislative hearing at a Subway sandwich shop during the time that the committee was waiting.

Click here to read Schmidt’s media response to our request.

Click here to join Kansans in calling on AG Schmidt to issue an official statement regarding the constitutionality of Kansas’s voter restriction.