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Voting Registration Skyrockets in Midwestern States Following the Fall of Roe

Just weeks after a Kansas City Hospital System stopped—then resumed—offering emergency contraceptives, voting registration in Kansas and Missouri is up.

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Photo: Orlin Wagner (AP)

Despite the fact that there’s no shortage of reasons to be distrustful of the electoral process in America as of late, a number of states have recently reported surprising increases in voter registration. According to a recent report from Vote.org, Kansas and Missouri are just the latest states to note “astronomical” rates following the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

“For Kansas and Missouri registrations, comparing Friday, June 17 to Friday, June 24, we saw a 1,038% increase in Kansas and a 627% increase in Missouri,” Nick Morrow, director of communications for Vote.org, told a local Fox affiliate this week.

From June 24 to July 11, Kansas City, Kansas’s Wyandotte County received 600-900 new registered voters—a significant increase for the county according to Election Commissioner, Michael Abbott. “The turnout in the 2018 primary was 25%,” Abbott told FOX4. “We’re looking at probably 40 to 45% turnout is what we’re estimating.”

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Abbott theorized the increases in registration were due to something called the Value Them Both amendment, a ballot measure in the upcoming Aug. 2 primary election that, depending on votes, could either keep abortion as a constitutional right or empower state legislators to further restrict abortion which currently remains legal up to 22 weeks. “Especially with Roe v. Wade on the 24th, we got a lot more applications,” he said. “The following day, it was hundreds, and it’s been like that steady since.”

The spike in the Kansas City, Missouri, region arrives in light of the state’s criminalization of abortion and just weeks after a local preeminent health system first said it would deny emergency contraceptives to pregnant survivors of rape and incest—a move they backpedaled on less than a day later, following backlash. Abortion—with the exception of a medical emergency—has already been outlawed in Missouri.

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Nevada, Washington, D.C., Kentucky, and Iowa have also recently reported surges in voter registration, with the latter noting a specific increase in the state’s Republican party. Between June and July alone, new data showed Iowa’s Republican Party grew by almost 25,000 voters, while Kentucky noted an increase in new voters registering as Democrats in May.

In recent weeks, Democrats have begun vocalizing more concerns that Gen Z voters won’t participate in the midterms given very justifiable frustration following the overturning of Roe, among other political disappointments. This notion, coupled with a recent poll indicating many within the party are jonesing to be rid of President Joe Biden, means it’s probably safe to surmise that while increases are promising, more voter registrations are hardly a one-size-fits-all solution—especially when Republicans are reporting them too.