Letter to the Times: Kansas elections are free, fair and safe

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Note: The Lawrence Times runs opinion columns and letters to the Times written by community members with varying perspectives on local issues. These pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Times staff.

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Here in Kansas, we are lucky to have outstanding public servants such as Scott Schwab and Jamie Shew who ensure the integrity of our election process. I have seen firsthand as a poll worker the extraordinary precautions around our elections, and the dedication of the folks who work to keep our elections free, fair and safe.

Therefore I have serious concerns about the agenda for the upcoming 2023 Special Committee on Elections.

Legislators will hear copious testimony from groups that spread disinformation about our election systems. According to the national Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and our own Kansas Secretary of State, we already have adequate protections in place and incidents of election fraud are in fact vanishingly rare in Kansas. Only hearing from special interest groups like the Liberty Lions League and the Foundation for Government Accountability, organizations whose aims align with those of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, elevates a false and damaging narrative. I don’t question these groups’ right to voice their opinions, unfounded by fact as they may be, but where is the balance?

Allowing the voices on only one side to dominate the airtime in these hearings only serves the interest of bad actors domestically, and of enemies internationally, who pour resources into disinformation campaigns, all with the goal of seeing the United States and its democracy fail. 

Kansans deserve better from our leaders. Repeating lies doesn’t change them into truths. More civic engagement, not cynicism, is what democracy needs to survive.

— Sonja Czarnecki, President-elect, League of Women Voters, Lawrence-Douglas County

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