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State Senate Approves Bill Moving Local Government Elections in Kansas

The Kansas Senate chamber. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The Kansas Senate has advanced a bill that would move local elections from the spring to the fall of odd-numbered years. The bill is a compromise that is aimed at balancing efforts to increase voter turnout against objections from local governments. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.

Republican Senator Mitch Holmes says the goal is to get more people voting by moving the Kansas local elections to the traditional voting season in the fall.

“And it is to get better representative government on the local level. It enhances local control because it gets more local people involved in local issues,” says Holmes.

Democratic Senator Marci Francisco had a series of technical questions about the bill and says the legislation has problems.

“I certainly wouldn't want to put my name voting for something until it’s better vetted and understood,” says Francisco.

Groups representing local governments had strongly opposed the original version of the bill that would have made local elections partisan. That’s now gone, but the groups still have other concerns.

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