Voters in Dodge City, Kansas might encounter greater difficulties this year as they attempt to cast ballots in the November midterm elections: the sole polling place for all 27,000 residents has been moved outside the city limits, according to The Associated Press.
And of those 27,000 residents, about 60 percent are Hispanic.
> Since 2002, the lone site was at the civic center just blocks from the local country club — in the wealthy, white part of town. For this November’s election, local officials have moved it outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop, citing road construction that blocked the previous site.
> “It is shocking that we only have one polling place, but that is only kind of scratching the surface of the problem,” said Johnny Dunlap, chairman of the Ford County Democratic Party. “On top of that, not only is it irrational and ridiculous that we have only one polling place, but Dodge City is one of the few minority majority cities in the state.”
> A Democratic Party database compiled from state voter data shows Hispanic turnout during non-presidential elections is just 17 percent compared to 61 percent turnout for white voters in Ford County in 2014.
Those numbers put Dodge City’s turnout well below the national rate of 27 percent for eligible Latino voters in 2014, according to the Pew Research Center.
> Hispanic voters tend to vote Democratic and could be a factor in Kansas’ tight governor’s race featuring a champion of immigration restrictions, Republican Kris Kobach, against Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly.