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Kansas Lawmakers Moving Fast on Special Election Bill

Members of the Kansas House meeting Thursday. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Kansas lawmakers are quickly making preparations to hold a special election to replace Congressman Mike Pompeo. He’s been nominated to head the CIA by President-elect Donald Trump.

Thursday, the Kansas House approved a bill extending the time before a special election must be held. That would allow the state to comply with federal rules regarding military personnel who vote with absentee ballots.

Republican Representative Keith Esau says the special election law needs an update.

“We have not dealt with this law since 1950. We’ve had many other changes with election law and we wanted to make sure everything was in place for the special election and make sure we’re compliant with federal election laws,” says Esau.

The legislation also makes it easier for independent candidates to join the race. It would take 3,000 signatures for an independent candidate to appear on the ballot.

Current law requires signatures from 4 percent of the district’s population, which would equal about 17,000 signatures. Esau calls that provision “nearly insurmountable.”

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