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Kansas Objections Board Rules on Election Complaints

Hesse 2-650Legislative candidate Scott Hesse (R-Topeka) arguing before the Objections Board. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The State Objections Board has upheld a decision by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach that helped dozens of legislative candidates. The board ruled that Kobach did have the authority to assign candidates to new legislative districts. More than 80 candidates filed to run for office, then were drawn into different legislative districts after new redistricting maps were released. Kobach's office made the district number changes for candidates who had already filed. Legislative candidate Scott Hesse ("Hess") filed the complaint, saying Kobach didn't have the authority to put one of his challengers, Shanti Gandi ("SHON-tee GON-dee), into the new district.

Hesse argued that candidates who were drawn into new districts should have had to refile their paperwork. Kobach himself sits on the board that ruled in favor of his office’s decision. Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer ("collier") also sits on the board and thinks Kobach made the right call.

The Objections Board heard elections complaints filed against candidates for the fall election. The board is made up of the secretary of state, the attorney general and the lieutenant governor. The board also ruled that Democrat Larry Meeker, from Lake Quivira, would not be listed as a candidate. Democratic staff say they turned in Meeker’s filing paperwork, but it was misplaced by the Secretary of State’s office. Kobach’s staff say they never received Meeker’s paperwork.


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