Judge dismisses lawsuit over Dodge City polling site

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed against a western Kansas county after the only polling site in Dodge City was moved outside of town before the November election.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree granted on Wednesday the unopposed motion filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas to voluntarily dismiss the litigation after Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox announced plans to open two voting sites in Dodge City for future elections.

The ACLU sued Cox in October, contending that moving the polling site made it more difficult for the city's majority Hispanic population to vote. Cox said she moved the site because of construction at the traditional polling site at the civic center in the mostly white part of town.
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Friday January 25, 2019

The American Civil Liberties Union wants to dismiss a lawsuit it filed against a western Kansas county after the only polling site in Dodge City was moved outside of town before the November election.

The ACLU filed a motion Friday saying dismissing the lawsuit is warranted because Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox plans to open two voting sites in Dodge City for future elections. Cox also said she would add temporary bus stops in front of the polling sites.

The ACLU sued Cox in October , contending that moving the polling site made it more difficult for the city's majority Hispanic population to vote. Cox said she moved the site because of construction at the traditional polling site at the civic center in the mostly white part of town.
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Dodge City voters will no longer need to cast their ballots at a single location. The election office there came under fire during the 2018 election because they moved the city moved the only polling place to a location many felt was inconvenient for lower-income voters.

Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox says there will be at least two polling places for Dodge City for all elections moving forward, beginning with the primary election on August 6th (if needed) and the general election on November 5th.

Those polling sites are The Hoover Pavilion at 108 Fourth Avenue and the Knights of Columbus Hall at 800 West Frontview Street.

Voters will not be able to choose between the locations. Cox says each location will have precincts assigned to it. The polling places will be designated on each voter’s Voter Registration Card. New cards will be mailed out by the end of January to the address voters provided at the Ford County Election Office.

Voters who have recently moved are asked to contact the clerk’s office to have their address changed.

In addition to the second polling place, Cox says she has arranged with Dodge City Transit to ensure that there will be temporary bus stops directly in front of the polling places on Election Day, and the buses will provide free, door-to-door bus service to polling places on Election Days.

The ACLU, which filed a lawsuit over the single polling place, released a statement saying “This is a step toward the relief we are seeking on behalf of our clients."

The organization says it will speak with its client before deciding whether to proceed with the lawsuit.