Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Voters in west-central Kansas will not get another polling place to vote Tuesday, despite their only existing location being moved outside city limits, a federal judge ruled.
The League of United Latin American Citizens and first-time voter Alejandro Rangel-Lopez sued Ford County, Kan., asking for a second and more centralized voting location -- after the polling place in Dodge City was moved.
The American Civil Liberties Union helped file the suit, complaining that the primary polling location was inaccessible by public transportation and did not have sidewalks for pedestrians. Ford County clerk Debbie Cox said the location was moved because she believed the Dodge City Civic Center, in the middle of the town, would be under construction.
That construction, though, never took place.
The Wichita Eagle reported the lawsuit, filed a week ago, was fast tracked because election day is near. The suit, initially filed in Kansas City, was moved to Topeka because of its closer proximity to Dodge City.
Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree nixed the idea of a second voting location, saying that a new location so close to election day would do more harm than good.
"For the court to insert itself into this process on the eve of the election -- by ordering the reopening of the Civic Center either as the only polling location or a second polling location -- likely would create more voter confusion than it might cure. The relief plaintiffs seek is not in the public's interest," Crabtree wrote, according to the Kansas City Star.
In addition to their local races, Kansas voters will elect four House representatives and the state's governor. Neither of the state's two U.S. senators are up for re-election this year.
Crabtree, though, chided Cox for a response she wrote about an ACLU letter on the issue. Instead of responding, Cox forwarded the letter to the Kansas secretary of state's office with the remark "LOL" written on it -- social slang for "laughing out loud."
"While the court must evaluate the fully-developed facts governing this claim on a later day, the court notes, for now, its concerns about Ms. Cox's 'LOL' comment and questions whether it manifests a disregard for the 'fundamental significance' that our Constitution places on the right to vote," Crabtree wrote.
Cox said she was simply venting frustration.
The ACLU said in a statement it plans on revisiting the matter after the election.
"Cox's late decision and notice to voters left little room for the court to issue injunctive relief," the ACLU wrote Thursday. "Had voters learned of her decision sooner, our case may have prevailed.
"She can rest easy -- for now -- that she was able to run out the clock. We're all left to wonder, however, what might have been accomplished had she merely chosen to work with us and with our clients."