elections

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas would do away with the current voter registration deadlines under a bill in the Legislature.

A few days before the November midterm election, Alejandro Rangel-Lopez turned 18.

But before he cast that first ballot, local election officials moved Dodge City’s only polling location from the relatively convenient center town to its outskirts.

The move caused confusion, drew national criticism and raised questions about voting access governed by white elected officials in a town where nearly two-thirds of the population is Latino.

Former Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach rewrote the rules for voting in Kansas. Laws he pushed for required voters to show citizenship papers to register and ID at the polls. He secured prosecutorial powers for his office. 

Kobach’s term only ended a couple weeks ago, but some cornerstones of his legacy are already starting to crumble.

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach and independent Greg Orman both funded much of their losing races for governor of Kansas through self-financing, campaign finance reports filed Thursday show.

Orman spent $1.28 million of his own cash on his campaign and raised about another $1 million from donors.  He also spent several thousand dollars on in-kind contributions, including software and staff lunches.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service, File Photo

Departing Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has confirmed that he's considering running for the U.S. Senate in 2020 now that four-term incumbent Republican Pat Roberts won't seek re-election.

LaRissa Lawrie / KMUW/File photo

Sedgwick County commissioners are working on a list of priorities for state lawmakers to take up during the 2019 legislative session.

They held a meeting Tuesday to revise the county’s annual legislative platform before it comes up for a formal vote. The platform is an outline of key initiatives for the county's lobbyists and governmental representatives.

LaRissa Lawrie / KMUW/File photo

More than a quarter of all registered voters in Sedgwick County have already cast ballots ahead of Election Day.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says her office processed more than 860 voters in the last hours of early voting Monday.

On a recent Thursday morning, there was non-stop foot traffic at the Johnson County Election Office in Olathe. The usually barren parking lot was full, and the poll worker at the door barely had seconds to spare between greetings as he ushered people inside.

A federal judge has ruled that Ford County, Kansas, does not have to provide a second polling place in Dodge City on Election Day.

In a ruling late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree denied a request for a temporary restraining order filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in late October on behalf of a Dodge City resident and a Latino community organization. 

Republican Scott Schwab and Democrat Brian McClendon disagree on the most basic of questions about the job they’re competing for, Kansas secretary of state.

Case in point: Is it the secretary’s job to increase voter turnout?

Schwab, a lawmaker of more than 10 years, says no. He says the things that drive voters to the polls lie beyond the secretary’s control — times of war, ailing economies, contested races.

“The secretary of state can’t make people vote and I can’t change people’s hearts,” he said. “All I can do is make sure it’s a good experience when they do go vote.”

McClendon, a former Google vice president from Lawrence, doesn’t buy that.

“The current secretary of state” — Republican candidate for governor Kris Kobach — “has done the opposite,” he said. 

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