Kansas Does U-Turn on 'Ugly as Sin' License Plates

Governor admits dislike of new plate brought 'Kansans across the political aisle together'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2023 7:02 PM CST
Kansas Backtracks on 'Ugly' License Plate Design
This art illustration from the Kansas Department of Revenue, provided on Tuesday, Nov. 28. 2023, shows the design for a new, standard vehicle license plate that the state had planned to start issuing in March 2024.   (Kansas Department of Revenue via AP)

"I promised to be a bipartisan governor, and I think we can all admit—I succeeded at bringing Kansans across the political aisle together in disliking this new license plate," Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Tuesday. The Democratic governor said the state would halt plans to move forward with an unpopular dark blue, black and gold license plate unveiled last week and would instead find a way for Kansans to vote on new designs, the Wichita Eagle reports. The design last week was disliked for multiple reasons, with some critics calling it dull and others saying it was too reminiscent of the colors of the University of Missouri, longtime nemesis of the University of Kansas, reports the AP.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican who lost the 2018 gubernatorial election to Kelly, said it was too close to the license plates of New York, where Kelly was born. She moved to Kansas in the 1980s. "First our NY born Gov brings NY policies. Now NY plates!" Kobach said in a post on X. Clay Wirestone at the Kansas Reflector said Republicans were "going overboard" in highlighting the governor's New York connections, but acknowledged that the new plates "are ugly as sin. And not the fun sins like lust and gluttony, but the nasty ones like avarice and wrath."

Kelly said Tuesday that she had heard critics "loud and clear." "Elected officials should be responsive to their constituents, which is why we are adjusting the process so Kansans can provide direct input on our state's next license plate," Kelly said, per KMBC. (More Kansas stories.)

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