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Kansas group suspends voter registration, education efforts

June 30, 2021 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A voting rights group plans to pause its voter registration and education activities for fear of criminal prosecution under a new election law passed this year by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature.

Loud Light, a state voting rights organization, said in a news release that it will suspend on Thursday its voter outreach efforts until a Shawnee District Court rules on its motion to block the law that makes it a felony to cause someone to believe another person is an election official.

The group has said its volunteers are sometimes mistaken for election officials. Under the new law Ia person could be charged with a felony if anyone “subjectively perceives” them to be an election official. It contends that goes far beyond the current law which criminalizes actually representing oneself to be a public official.

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“Loud Light and its volunteers planned to register young Kansans throughout the state this weekend in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of 18-year-olds winning the right to vote. Instead, Loud Light is suspending voter registration and education activities under the threat of having staff and volunteers criminally prosecuted under the newly enacted voter suppression law,” said Davis Hammet, president of Loud Light.