The State Objections Board has upheld a decision by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach that helped dozens of legislative candidates. The board ruled that Kobach did have the authority to assign candidates to new legislative districts, even though those candidates had already filed to run for office in other districts. Kobach assigned more than 80 candidates to run in new districts after a federal court drew new legislative maps. Kobach himself sits on the board that ruled in favor of his office’s decision. Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer also sits on the board and thinks Kobach made the right call.
“If we would follow a different policy it would certainly put the elections at risk,” Colyer said. “It would potentially throw dozens of candidates off of the ballot in a very short order.”
The Objections Board is hearing elections complaints filed against candidates for the fall election. The board is made up of the secretary of state, the attorney general and the lieutenant governor. The board also ruled that Democrat Larry Meeker, from Lake Quivira, would not be listed as a candidate. Democratic staff say they turned in Meeker’s filing paperwork, but it was misplaced by the Secretary of State’s office. Kobach’s staff say they never received Meeker’s paperwork.