Top Morning News 12.31.12
Professionals get training to recognize the signs of human trafficking; Kobach wants more power to be able to prosecute double-voting cases; New Wichita legislators say election change is a good idea.
Training Helps Professionals Identify Human Trafficking
Dozens of Kansas social workers and law enforcement personnel recently finished additional training to stop human trafficking, a modern day form of slavery.
Kobach: Only Prosecution Will Block Double Voting
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says increasing the power of his office is the best way to deter people from double-voting.
Kobach will seek authority from the Legislature to prosecute election fraud. He said it's the last major step Kansas needs to take to combat voting irregularities. He says county prosecutors are often too overworked to take on such cases.
Critics say Kobach overstates the threat and that he is suppressing voter turnout with his measures. Those measures include a law requiring all voters to show photo identification at the polls.
However, Kobach says his office heard over 10 cases of double-voting from the 2010 election. He says prosecuting such cases is the only way to deter voter fraud.
New Wichita Legislators Support Moving Elections
Two newly elected state legislators have endorsed a proposal to hold city and local school board elections at the same time as elections for state offices.
Wichita's Senator-elect Michael O'Donnell and Representative-elect Mark Kahrs say the change to even-numbered years would boost turnout in city and school board elections.
In local primaries, voter turnout can fall below 10 percent. Kansas law now sets municipal and school board general elections on the first Tuesday in April in odd-numbered years. Elections for state offices are the first Tuesday in November in even-numbered years, with primaries in early August.