Kansas Democrat Can Drop Off November Ballot

          TOPEKA, Kan. (CN) – In striking Democrat Chadwick Taylor’s name from the November ballot, the Kansas Supreme Court may have positioned an Independent candidate to upset the chances of the Republican incumbent.
     After a bitter Republican primary, polling showed Sen. Pat Roberts vulnerable but still competitive. With Taylor out of the mix, polls show self-funding Independent Greg Orman surging ahead.
     Taylor submitted his request to withdraw in writing to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Sept. 3. Kobach rejected the letter claiming Taylor’s withdrawal did not conform to state law because Taylor failed to state that he was incapable of performing the duties of office.
     In an unsigned decision, the Kansas Supreme Court sided with Taylor, finding that he did comply with state law by ending his letter with “pursuant to K.S.A. 25-306b(b).”
     “In light of these authorities, we conclude the plain meaning of ‘pursuant to K.S.A.
     25-306b(b)’ contained in Taylor’s letter effectively declares he is incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected,” the court wrote. “Simply put, the phrase operates as an incorporation by reference of this particular requirement contained in subsection (b).”
     The decision has a ripple affect.
     Kobach said Kansas law requires the Democratic Party to name a new candidate. The secretary announced shortly after the court’s decision that the mailing date for ballots has been moved back to Sept. 27, giving the Democrats eight days to name a new candidate, The Wichita Eagle reported.
     Such action could, however, violate the MOVE Act, a federal law that requires ballots to be mailed to overseas military voters no later than 45 days before the election. Kobach said that deadline can be moved back, according to the Eagle.
     State and national Democrats had reportedly been pressuring Taylor to drop out over concerns about Taylors’ personal baggage and splitting the anti-Roberts vote. Taylor had come under fire for his reputation of not prosecuting domestic-abuse cases while acting as the district attorney of Shawnee County.
     Roberts’ campaign blasted the ruling as a move orchestrated by the Democrats.
     “Today, the Kansas Supreme Court deliberately, and for political purposes, disenfranchised over 65,000 voters,” the campaign manager for Roberts said in a statement. “In a bow to Sens. Claire McCaskill and Harry Reid, liberal activist Supreme Court justices have decided that if you voted in the Democrat primary on Aug. 5, your vote does not matter, your voice does not matter, and you have no say in who should be on the ballot on Election Day. This is not only a travesty to Kansas voters, but it’s a travesty to the judicial system and our electoral process.”
     In another statement, Orman declined to identify himself with either party.
     “No matter who’s on or off the ballot, Greg Orman is running as an Independent against the broken system in Washington that has failed Kansas and failed America,” Orman campaign manager Jim Jonas said in a statement. “Kansas voters from across the political spectrum are fed up with the mess in Washington, and that’s why Republicans, Democrats and Independents are supporting Independent Greg Orman for Senate.”

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