Recently, my fellow Commissioners and I, as well as City staff have received many inquiries regarding the election location being relocated. Elections are an issue that falls within the jurisdiction of the Ford County Clerk and/or the Secretary of State. The City of Dodge City has no authority over election issues.
We are very proud of our small but growing diverse community. Our citizens are engaged in all facets of our community including commerce, education, recreation, and politics. With that being said, our citizen's accessibility to exercising their most fundamental right of voting is our utmost concern.
So when the Ford County Clerk sent notification of the temporary relocation of the election site due to potential construction at the existing election location at the Civic Center, we agreed to provide assistance by providing a ride door to door via public transportation to anyone who might not have transportation to the new site.
However, we continued to receive inquiries and statements implying that our community voters are being suppressed.
It is not our place to agree or disagree, however, we feel it is necessary to share the facts and what we are doing to assist our citizens:
City of Dodge City – Public Transportation is offering free door to door rides to and from the polling location on Election Day to those that call and schedule a pickup. Those wishing to utilize the free transportation will need to call and schedule with Dodge City Public Transportation at 620-371-3879.
The Ford County, Clerk/Elections Office, does provide advanced voting that is taking place currently.
In office voting during the weekdays leading up to Election Day is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the County Clerk’s office.
On Oct. 30, and Nov. 1, they will have the voting open until 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, they will have voting open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Registered voters in Ford County may also request a ballot by mail until Oct. 30.
After you have read this information, if there are still unanswered questions or statements you wish to make, we are certain that the Ford County Clerk and the Kansas Secretary of State would be happy to answer your inquiries as all things "elections" are within their direction and control.
E. Kent Smoll
Mayor of Dodge City