TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge says candidates in a close Kansas House race can contact voters who cast uncounted provisional ballots. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten on Wednesday ruled against Secretary of State Kris Kobach in a lawsuit he filed last week. Kobach was trying to keep both Democratic state Rep. Ann Mah and Republican challenger Ken Corbet from contacting the voters in the Topeka-area 54th House District. Mah is one of Kobach's most persistent critics. Mah trails Corbet by 44 votes out of nearly 11,000 cast. Mah hoped to pick up votes by helping voters correct potential problems with their provisional ballots before Douglas and Shawnee county officials certify election results Thursday. Kobach argued voter privacy was at stake. Marten disagreed.
**This is an update to a story that has been developing throughout the day. A prior version is archived below.**
Reno Case Shadows KS Ballot Dispute
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The release of voter information in a case earlier this year brings into question Secretary of State Kris Kobach's attempt to prevent a persistent critic in a close legislative race from learning the identifies of those casting provisional ballots in her district.
The Republican secretary of state was preparing to argue in federal court Wednesday that Democratic state Rep. Ann Mah of Topeka and her GOP challenger shouldn't be allowed to contact voters casting provisional ballots in last week's election. Kobach contends releasing the voters' names violates federal law. Documents provided to The Associated Press show that Erich Bishop, a losing candidate in a House primary in Hutchinson, received names of provisional voters from Reno County, as well as their addresses and information about why they cast provisional ballots.