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Kansas Nears Limits on Pre-Primary Party Switches

Associated Press - March 12, 2014 7:26 pm

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.

The Kansas Senate has given first-round approval to a proposal from the state Republican Party to make it harder for voters to switch parties before primary elections.

The Senate’s voice vote Wednesday advanced the bill to another, final vote. Passage on the second vote would send the bill to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback because the House approved an identical version last year.

The bill prohibits voters affiliated with a political party from switching their affiliations from the June 1 candidate filing deadline until after the results from the August primary are certified. Current law allows switching up to two weeks before the primary.

Republicans said the change would protect the integrity of party contests. Democrats said it would restrict voting rights.

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