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Kansas Lawmakers Moving Fast On Special Election Bill

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers are moving fast on revisions to the process for filling a Congressional vacancy, anticipating there will be a vacancy very soon. Hearings to confirm Congressman Mike Pompeo as CIA director started on Thursday.

The Kansas House has approved a bill to extend by a month the timeline for a special election to be held after being called by the governor. That would put the state in compliance with federal rules allowing members of the military to vote by absentee ballot.

Republican Rep. Keith Esau says the revisions are sorely needed.

“We have not dealt with this law since 1950," Esau says. "We’ve had many other changes with election law, and we wanted to make sure everything was in place for the special election and make sure we’re compliant with federal election laws.”

The legislation would also make it easier for independent candidates. Instead of having to gather around 17,000 signatures – 4 percent of a congressional district’s population – they’d need just 3,000 signatures to get on the ballot.