Kansas Has a New Bill to Make the Secretary of State a Nonpartisan Elected Position, and Kris Kobach and I Are (Partially) on the Same Side About It

KC Star:

Kobach condemned the bill Wednesday, saying it’s based on “the illusion that a politician elected in an election without party labels somehow loses all preferences and principles.”

“All it would do is make it less clear what that person stands for. That would, in turn, make it easier to conceal the politician’s intentions from voters. That’s exactly what Kansas Democrat politicians have been doing for years,” Kobach said in a statement….

Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, has long advocated for non-partisan secretary of state offices. But he said in an email that he’s “not a big fan” of making that happen through non-partisan elections.

“We have those for lots of state judicial elections, as in Wisconsin, and it is clear that many state supreme court judges run as Democrats or Republicans without the formal label,” Hasen said.

His own preference would be for a system where a governor nominates a secretary, who is then confirmed with 75 percent support from the Legislature. The nominee would have to have the support of both parties to get into office.


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