The 2023 legislative session resulted in substantial improvements to the administration of Kansas elections with the adoption of the Secretary of State’s recommended changes to the state’s election laws. Several new provisions in state law are directly relevant to the operation of the two political parties in Kansas.
NEW LAWS AFFECTING CANDIDATES
Electoral College (HB 2087)
This bill complies with The Electoral Count Act, a federal law enacted in December 2022, and repeals some old electoral state statutes.
- Any contest challenging the election of any presidential elector must be brought in a special federal court pursuant to 3 USC § 5. [K.S.A. 25-1435]
Presidential Preference Primary (HB 2053)
The state legislature decided to resurrect the state-run presidential preference primary, which had only been used in 1980 and 1992.
- Presidential candidates must file their candidacy with the Secretary of State 60 days before the election (January 19, 2024). Candidates must either pay a $10,000 filing fee or present a petition with 5,000 signatures of registered Kansas voters of the affiliated party. [K.S.A. 25-4502(b)]
- The county board of canvassers will meet within 8 days after the election to certify county results. [K.S.A. 25-4505(a)]
Replacement Conventions by Precinct Leaders (SB 221)
- County Clerks: Current law does not require a county clerk to be a county resident, but it does require candidates to fill county clerk vacancies to be a county resident before the precinct leaders can vote for the person. The law was changed to remove the residency requirement for those seeking to fill vacancies. [K.S.A. 19-303]
- County Sheriffs: Current law requires sheriffs to be county residents and, therefore, candidates to fill sheriff vacancies must be a county resident before the precinct leaders can vote for the person. The law was changed to require residency after the Sheriff is elected by precinct leaders to fill a vacancy but before the new Sheriff takes the oath of office. This opens the Sheriff position to a greater number of potential applicants with significant law-enforcement experience. [K.S.A. 19-804]