With a pending American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, Ford County and the Ford County Clerk's Office has found outside counsel regarding the change of the polling location from the Dodge City Civic Center to the Western State Bank Expo Center.
The location change, moved the one polling location for Dodge City, outside the city limits on the southend of town.
"In response to multiple media requests," Ford County Administrator J.D. Gilbert said in a press releae, "the county has obtained outside legal counsel and will refer all related media requests to Bradley Schlozman an attorney with the Hinkle Law Firm in Wichita, Kansas."
Gilbert went on to say that at the time of the press release, the county had not received any documentation regarding the legal filings.
Gilbert added that the county is aware of media reports and social media posts relating to a temporary restraining order filed by the ACLU of Kansas.
"Dodge City has maintained a single polling place for all elections for more than two decades," Gilbert said. "A new polling location had to be selected for the upcoming Nov. 6, general election in the interest of public safety because the previously-used polling place – the Civic Center and parking areas – will soon be used as a staging area for a major construction project.
"The County Election Officer chose the Western State Bank Expo Center as an alternative due to the fact that the county owns the building, carries insurance to cover crowds, is designed for large crowds specifically, has adequate parking, is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is already part of the county's operations and planning in relation to severe weather and security response.
"There was no intent whatsoever to discriminate against any group of voters in the selection of this location nor will its use have the effect of discriminating any group of voters.
"Suggestions to the contrary are meritless."
Schlozman can be reached at 316-660-6296 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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