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Senate Dispute Delays Ballot Printing in KS

VotingBooth 11 6 12 SKVoters filling out ballots in Lawrence in 2012. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)A dispute over the ballot for a U.S. Senate race in Kansas is creating a time crunch for election officials.

At issue is whether Democrats will be required to place a new candidate on the ballot for the Senate seat after Chad Taylor dropped out of the race. A Shawnee County Court is expected to issue a decision this week.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew says that normally by this time of year, ballots for people voting early would be printed and prepared for mailing.


“We usually send out around 5,000 advance ballots on the first day, which is October 15th of this year. So, we would actually have those assembled and ready to go,” says Shew.

Instead, Shew is waiting to print ballots until a decision is handed down. Shew says in his 10 years on the job he can’t remember a delay like this affecting the printing and preparation of ballots.

Taylor's withdrawal from the race leaves incumbent Republican Pat Roberts, independent Greg Orman and Libertarian Randall Batson vying for the U.S. Senate seat.

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(VERSION TWO)

A legal dispute surrounding the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Kansas is causing headaches for local election officials.

At issue is whether Democrats will be required to place a new candidate on the ballot for the Senate seat after Chad Taylor dropped out of the race. A court in Shawnee County is expected to issue a decision this week.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew says they would normally have ballots printed and ready to mail at this point, but the lawsuit has delayed that.

Shew says they’re working on contingency plans so they can have ballots ready by a state deadline. That may include printing simpler ballots that won’t be counted by the normal machines.


“The law says we need to have ballots ready by October 15th. It doesn't say it has to be a machine readable ballot. So one thing a lot of counties are working on is: could we produce a ballot that people could vote, but we’re going to have to hand count those ballots,” says Shew.

Shew says he can’t remember a delay like this during his 10 years in office.

Taylor's withdrawal leaves incumbent Republican Pat Roberts, independent Greg Orman and Libertarian Randall Batson in the race for the U.S. Senate seat.

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