Opening a second Election Day polling place in Dodge City is impossible, an attorney for the county clerk at the center of a growing Kansas controversy over voting rights said Monday. An 18-year-old Dodge City resident and a Latino civil rights group are suing Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox in an effort to force her to reopen the polling location used by Dodge City’s 13,000 registered voters before Cox moved voting to a site a half mile outside the city limits. Attorneys for the resident, Alejandro Rangel-Lopez, and the League of United Latin American Citizens clashed with attorneys for Cox during a conference call in the case. With the Nov. 6 election approaching, Judge Daniel Crabtree decided to give both sides until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file written arguments.
“With all due respect, it is at this point humanly impossible to take the logistical steps necessary at this late stage” to open a second polling place, said Bradley Schlozman, an attorney for Cox.
Schlozman said opening a second polling site would create massive confusion that would likely disenfranchise voters. He said it would require breaking state laws about providing notice of new voting locations and that computers would have to be reprogrammed.
Schlozman accused the American Civil Liberties Union, which is spearheading the lawsuit against Cox, of sitting on concerns about the polling place for a month. He noted that the polling place was officially moved in September but that the lawsuit was filed just last week