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Kansas House Moves to Bar Candidates from Dropping out of Races

Voters casting ballots in Douglas County. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The Kansas House has advanced a bill that would bar political candidates from removing themselves from the ballot after the filing deadline. Only candidates who die could be removed from the ballot before an election.

Republican Representative Mark Kahrs ("cars"), who spoke in support of the measure, repeatedly referenced Democrat Chad Taylor dropping out of the U.S. Senate race last year.


“What this bill does, is it addresses the fraud that occurred in the last primary election where a party pressured a candidate off the ballot. What this bill says is that June 1st is the filing deadline,” says Kahrs.

Democratic Representative Annie Kuether (KEY-thur) says Kahrs doesn’t know what motivated Taylor to withdraw from the race.

Democrats contend this will require people who suffer a sudden illness or family emergency to stay on the ballot even if they know they can’t serve in office.

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(VERSION TWO)

The Kansas House has advanced a bill that would bar political candidates from removing themselves from the ballot after the filing deadline. Currently, candidates can declare they can’t serve in office and have their name taking off the ballot before an election. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.


(SCRIPT)
Republican Representative Mark Kahrs repeatedly referenced Democrat Chad Taylor dropping out of the U.S. Senate race last year.

“The reason we're here is because the voters in the primary, the Democratic voters, elected Chad Taylor. Then the people at the national and state level decided it was better to remove him from the ballot,” says Kahrs.

Democratic Representative John Carmichael calls it a knee-jerk reaction to one situation. He imagines a scenario where a candidate suffers a stroke and is in a coma, but still must remain on the ballot.

“We hold a meaningless election to elect all-but-dead candidates to public office. That does not carry out the will of the electorate,” says Carmichael.

A final vote on the bill is expected Thursday.

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