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Kansas Considers Moving Local Elections

Associated Press - March 10, 2014 6:55 am

A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in September in an appeal that could affect the voting rights of thousands of voters in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama in upcoming elections.

A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in September in an appeal that could affect the voting rights of thousands of voters in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama in upcoming elections.

A Kansas Senate committee plans to review a proposal this week to change the dates of local elections so they occur on the same schedule as legislative and statewide contests.

The bill on the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee’s agenda Wednesday is a modified version of a proposal from the Kansas Republican Party. The GOP argues the bill would boost turnout.

Kansas holds city and school board elections in the spring of odd-numbered years, and turnout is typically low. The bill would move the elections to even-numbered years, with primaries in August and general elections in November.

GOP officials also pushed to make the elections partisan, but the committee rejected that idea.

Many local officials oppose the change, arguing their races would get lost on a longer ballot.

City of Salina