Updating special-election rules that haven’t been touched since the 1950s, the state House on Thursday approved a bill to fix problems with the process for replacing U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo. The bill extends the time period for holding a special election, allows the Libertarian Party to nominate a candidate like the Republicans and Democrats, and eases the signature burden for independent candidates. The measure passed 122-1. It will go to the Senate next week. It is unusual for the House to pass substantive legislation in the first week of a session. House Bill 2017 is fast-tracked because President-elect Donald Trump has selected Pompeo to serve as chief of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Senate confirmation is expected soon, which will leave Pompeo’s 4th Congressional District seat empty. The U.S. Constitution requires that House vacancies be filled by a special election of the voters in the district.
The procedure in current state law for conducting the special election conflicts with a federal law requiring that the state mail absentee ballots to military and other voters overseas at least 45 days before an election.
HB 2017 increases the time between when the governor sets the election date and the date the election is conducted. Current law requires the vote to be held 45 to 60 days after the governor’s proclamation; HB 2017 extends that period to 75 to 90 days.
Full Article: Kansas House fixes election law to fill Pompeo seat | The Wichita Eagle.