The Buzz

Kansas to take hard look at moving local elections to November


Kansas state Sen. Mitch Holmes said Wednesday that he would introduce a bill this week to move city and school elections to November, Hawver’s Capitol Report said.

The bill would also require candidates that serve in offices with “major taxing authority” to declare whether they are Republicans, Democrats or something else. Presumably that would apply to city council members, school board members or county legislators.

The St. John Republican, whose bill is titled the “Help Kansans Vote Act,” is chair of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee.

Local governments have traditionally opposed a move to the more partisan election dates in August or November and any requirement to move away from non-partisan elections.

Republicans see this as a way to gain clout in scores of cities and counties across the state in bright-red Kansas.

Hawver noted that the bill also would allow 16 and 17 year olds to serve as poll workers with recommendation letters from school officials. Many states, including Kansas, face a shortage of poll workers.