Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the voter identification requirements that debuted last year were a resounding success and legislators can move on to more changes, such as consolidating local and state elections. But House Democrats, led by freshman Rep. John Alcala, D-Topeka, say not so fast. Alcala, a former Topeka City Council member, said he is alarmed by a bill to move local spring elections to November and Kobach’s ideas to streamline the hefty ballots that would cause. “I have serious concerns about moving spring elections to the fall, and I also have concerns about switching to at-large elections,” Alcala said.
In testimony to Alcala’s House Elections Committee, Kobach himself said Wednesday that consolidating elections would cause a slate of logistical challenges for county clerks because districts for local races don’t fit smoothly with those for state races.
“A polling place that today has 10 different ballot style that same polling place if we don’t do anything else will have 40 or 50 ballot styles,” Kobach said. “Which dramatically increases the chance of a poll worker making a mistake, like the one that was made here in Shawnee County.”
Kobach was referring to a polling place in Topeka where hundreds of voters were given the wrong ballot, leading to a special election in the 52nd District Kansas House Republican primary race.
To minimize such errors, Kobach said he would only combine state and local elections if a number of policy changes are made. They include electing school board members at-large rather than by district and introducing party primaries to local elections that are currently nonpartisan.
Full Article: Kobach pushes for more election changes | CJOnline.com.