Kobach to request new date

By Bryan Richardson

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will request that a federal court set a new candidate filing deadline for legislative offices if a decision on redistricting isn’t made by Friday.

He made these comments Tuesday during his stop in Manhattan to explain new voter identification rules under the Kansas Safe and Fair Elections Act.

Kobach asked a federal court to draw the state and federal office boundaries after the legislature didn’t come to an agreement on maps. The redistricting trial wrapped up on May 30, and a decision is pending.

The current filing deadline for Congressional, state Senate and House districts and state board of education districts is noon Monday, June 11. This would be the second redistricting-related push back of the filing deadline; it was originally June 1.

Kobach said he’s urged the courts to have a decision by June 20 while also wanting the court to set a June 22 filing deadline. If this were to occur, he said primaries would probably be pushed back by a week; they’re currently scheduled for August 7.

Kobach said the legislature’s inability to decide on new district lines has for the first time in the state’s history forced the court to set every map’s boundaries. “It’s a truly extraordinary situation we’re in right now,” he said.

Kobach said everyone involved in the election process is on “pins and needles” right now, and he would like a swift decision on the maps. “Our whole democratic process is on hold,” Kobach said.

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