Kris Kobach presses to block use of tax dollars for ballot-question mailers

Secretary of State Kris Kobach worked to generate support Thursday in the Kansas Senate for legislation prohibiting local units of government from spending tax dollars on distribution of information informing potential voters about ballot questions.

He faced bipartisan unease among members of the Senate Ethics and Election Committee to a proposed ban sought on distribution of printed information at public expense by a school board, city, county, township or college about bond issues or other ballot issues. He was confronted by sharp criticism from local government representatives.

“These units of government are currently permitted to use taxpayer funds to provide ‘educational’ pieces,” said Kobach, who serves as the state’s chief election officer. “These ‘educational’ pieces are produced by jurisdictions that have a vested interest in the outcome of the election.”

The League of Kansas Municipalities, Kansas Association of Counties, Kansas Association of School Boards, the cities of Lenexa, Manhattan, Shawnee and Overland Park and the counties of Sedgwick, Riley, Johnson and Smith challenged Kobach’s recommendation on limiting the method of disclosing information to potential voters.

Read more: Topeka Capital-Journal.

Leave a Comment