Lawmakers Support Moving Local Elections

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Two newly elected Kansas legislators from Wichita have endorsed a proposal to hold city and local school board elections at the same time as elections for state offices in even-numbered years.

Sen.-elect Michael O’Donnell and Rep.-elect Mark Kahrs, both Republicans, said the change would boost turnout in city and school board elections. In local primaries, turnout can fall below 10 percent.

Kansas law now sets municipal and school board general elections on the first Tuesday in April in odd-numbered years. Elections for state offices are the first Tuesday in November in even-numbered years, with primaries in early August.

Both new lawmakers say it’s time for the state to address poor turnout in local elections. O’Donnell is a Wichita City Council member.