The end to the polling location fiasco may be nearing its end as Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox announced on Tuesday that two locations have been named for polling locations in Dodge City.
The Hoover Pavilion located at 108 4th Avenue and The Knights of Columbus Hall located at 800 W. Frontview Street will be the locations for the 2019 local elections.
"As previously announced, my office will now be maintaining at least two polling places for Dodge City voters in all elections (i.e., both national and local elections)," Cox said in a press release. "Beginning with this year’s local elections – the primary election on August 6, 2019 (if necessary), and the general election on November 5, 2019 – polling sites will be operated at the two locations."
According to Cox, the polling places will be assigned to the number of precincts. Voters that vote on the election day will have to vote at the location of the precinct assigned to it.
"The proper polling site will be set forth on each voter’s Voter Registration Card (also known as a Notice of Disposition card)," Cox said. "For those citizens who are currently registered to vote, new Voter Registration Cards will be mailed out in the next week.
"They will be sent to the last address that voters provided to the Ford County Election Office.
"If voters have recently moved, therefore, it is very important that they notify my office promptly."
Cox also added that Dodge City Transit will be in place for election day.
"There will be temporary bus stops directly in front of these polling places on election day," she said. "Routes will be temporarily modified that day and moreover, as usual, Dodge City Transit will provide free, door-to-door bus service to the polling places on election day."
Early voting options will still be in place in the lead up to the elections.
In-person early voting and mail-in ballots will continue to be available as will extra evening and Saturday times as that occurred during the 2018 election.
As the primary and election day's near, more details will be released by Cox's office.
"For those curious about future use of the Dodge City Civic Center as a polling place, I will make any determinations regarding that facility after its renovations are complete," Cox said. "Thank you as always for your support."
Upon hearing of the announcement of the polling locations, interim executive director of the ACLU of Kansas Lauren Bonds said, "To the extent Ms. Cox intends to commit to implementing these plans, the ACLU of Kansas welcomes news that Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox plans to open at least two new polling places inside the city limits of Dodge City.
"As recently as November, in her motion to dismiss (Page 6, footnote 2), Cox says, 'No decision has been made as to how many polling places will be operated during the 2019 elections, which are confined to a small number of city races and which voter turnout is historically very low.'
"But, if she follows through on the two new sites, this is a step toward the relief we are seeking on behalf of our clients. Whether this particular plan is sufficient remains to be seen, but it is, however a tacit admission that a single, out-of-town polling place was insufficient for the needs of Dodge City voters.
"We are pleased with the positive impact we’ve had on this situation and we’ll soon be in conversation with our clients who’ll ultimately decide whether to proceed with the lawsuit."
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