The tight race for governor is adding extra scrutiny to a potential conflict of interest in state government. Democrats have called on Secretary of State Kris Kobach to remove himself from oversight of the election because he’s also running for governor.
A spokesperson for Kobach says he has a constitutional responsibility to oversee elections, even his own.
Kobach has said in the past that he’s insulated because vote counting is actually done by the counties, not his office.
Emporia State University political scientist Michael Smith says it’s not so much an issue about Kobach, but how Kansas law set up the office.
“If that person’s running for re-election, then you have that conflict of interest kind of built into the state Constitution,” Smith says.
Smith says people are paying extra attention to the issue this year because the race for governor could be very close.
Stephen Koranda has more: