Contact:
Jane Moore
jane@kansasdems.org

October 13, 2021

KDP CALLS ON KS GOP TO HONOR PROMISE OF ADDITIONAL REDISTRICTING HEARINGS

The Kansas Democratic Party Calls on Republican Leaders to Fulfill Their Promise of More Public Redistricting Hearings in the Fall

Topeka, KS –  In August – in response to the public outcry following the crammed redistricting schedule – Republican Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman promised on the record that there would be more public hearings in the fall. It’s now fall, and Republicans remain mute on any plans for additional Redistricting Town Halls

All Census data was released to the states by Sept. 30, 2021, and with that comes redistricting plans. Nonpartisan groups have already called out Republicans for ignoring their calls for transparency and missing their October 1 deadline. In light of Republican silence and inaction, the Kansas Democratic Party is calling on Ryckman and other Republican leaders to fulfill their promise to Kansans and host additional Redistricting Town Halls, and to do so in a fair and transparent process.

Kansans made their concerns clear at the Town Halls. The facts of an analysis of written testimonies from the first hearings are as follows: 

  • The need for additional Town Halls was mentioned 175 times out of the 372 testimonies.
  • The need for increased transparency was mentioned 203 times out of the 372 testimonies.
  • The concern of the accessibility of the meetings was mentioned 138 times out of the 372 testimonies.

Ryckman told the Kansas City Star that “Additional public input will be needed. We plan to do virtual town halls in the Fall and every redistricting committee meeting will be live-streamed online and open to the public to attend in person.” So far, his statement remains a promise unkept.

“As an elected member of the House of Representatives, it is Ron Ryckman’s duty to uphold his promises and do what’s right by Kansans,” said KDP Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt in a statement. “With all the Census data released, Republicans should provide transparent redistricting information, and forums for voters to ask questions and give feedback on their maps. Kansas voters couldn’t be more clear on what they want from the Republican-controlled Redistricting Town Halls. It’s time for Republicans to get the Fall Town Halls in motion, and let Kansans have a fair voice in their democracy.”

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