TOPEKA (KSNT)-The deadline for returning advance voting ballots in Kansas could change soon, if the state enacts one of the latest election bills to pass the Kansas Legislature.
Senate Bill 209 would eliminate the three-day grace period for advance voting ballots, requiring all advance voting ballots to be returned by 7 p.m. on election day.
The Senate voted to pass the bill 23-14 in an overnight session Thursday, after the House voted 76-48 to pass the bill. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
During debates earlier this year, some Republicans argued that the change would boost voter confidence in elections.
“We had ballots that continued to come in for three days and flipped a couple of races before it was all over, and that erodes voter confidence,” said Rep. Pat Proctor, R-Leavenworth, who carried the bill in the House.
However, some democrats argued that the grace period should stand, so that mail has time to be processed at the post-office.
“There is no good reason to pass this legislation other than somebody thinks that somebody’s getting an advantage over someone else and so they want to even it out,” said House Minority Leader, Rep. Vic Miller, D-Topeka.
If Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoes the legislation, the House would need 84 votes to override the veto and 27 votes in the Senate.