Democrat Laura Kelly won a decisive victory Tuesday night to become the next governor of Kansas, one of the most Republican states in America. She received 50 percent of the vote while Republican rival Kris Kobach won 41 percent. Kelly’s victory was built on a variety of factors: She leveraged the unpopularity of former Republican Governor Sam Brownback, and also emphasized more spending on education and accepting Medicare expansion.
The Kansas victory also had implications for the hot button topic of voting rights. Kobach, a close ally of President Donald Trump on issues like immigration, is also one of the most visible faces of Republican voter suppression attempts. As secretary of state, he tried to make Kansas voting much more restricted. As Vox notes, “Kansas passed laws at Kobach’s urging requiring people not only to show photo ID at the polls but also to prove their citizenship when registering to vote. The law was thrown out in court earlier this year, and Kobach—a former law professor—was ordered to take a law class on evidence and rules of procedure.”