Kansas lawmakers advance bill on ballot problems

Measure passes Senate 40-0

A bill aimed at having Kansas election officials throw out fewer ballots over problems with voters’ signatures has broad, bipartisan support.

The Kansas Senate approved the measure Wednesday, 40-0, sending it to the House.

The bill deals with mail-in ballots cast in advance of Election Day. Voters must sign the ballot envelope, and county election officials can toss a ballot if a voter forgets to sign the ballot or the signature does not match what’s on file.

The bill is supported by election officials across the state, including the Kansas County Clerk and Election Officials Association.

The proposal comes after last year’s GOP primary for governor between Kris Kobach and then-Gov. Jim Colyer was decided by only 343 votes . Hundreds of mail-in ballots weren’t counted because voters didn’t sign them.

Former Gov. Jeff Colyer lost last year’s Republican primary by only 343 votes after hundreds of mail-in ballots weren’t counted over signature problems.

Currently, Kansas law allows election officials to throw out advance ballots from voters who forget to sign their envelopes. Voters have only until the end of Election Day to fix the problem.