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Kansas, Missouri Voices Clash In Debate Over Voting Rules

Stephen Koranda
Kansas News Service
Jason Kander speaks during a recent stop in Lawrence.

The president’s advisory commission on election integrity has heightened talk about voting issues and election security. Two of the loudest voices in the discussion come from Kansas and Missouri, and they’re clashing over the issue.

Former Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander crossed the border and stopped recently in Douglas County, Kansas. He aimed some of his comments at Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Kander has been touring and talking voting policies, and he believes some of the rules pushed by Kobach are a bad idea.

“I’m really just trying to sound the alarm and make sure that Americans know that people like Secretary Kobach are out there trying to undermine faith in American democracy," Kander said. "Trying to make people believe that the system doesn’t work and really just making stuff up."

Kobach’s office fired back, noting that policies tightening Kansas voting rules passed with bipartisan support. Kobach says the changes help keep elections secure.

"Jason Kander’s extreme liberal record opposing photo-ID was rejected by Missouri voters when they voted against him in his run for [U.S.] Senate," Kobach said in a statement. "Missouri voters have made it clear that they reject Jason Kander’s leftist ideas. Kansans don’t want them on this side of the state line either."

Kobach has already announced he's running for Kansas governor in 2018. Kander hasn't said what his next political step will be, but his touring has led to rumors he may seek a national office.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service.