TOPEKA — The state Senate today voted to cancel next year’s scheduled Kansas presidential primaries.
Senate Bill 128 crosses the year 2012 out of a state law that says when primaries should be held to choose presidential nominees.
The next possible primary would be 2016, a 24-year gap since Kansans last had an official election to express support for national candidates and apportion delegates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Most years, the selections of national candidates are essentially over before Kansas would vote, and the decision on convention delegates falls to a caucus of a relatively small core of party activists and insiders.
However, in 2008, competitive races drew large numbers to party caucuses across the state.
Democrats especially overcrowded local caucus meetings, spurred primarily by enthusiasm for their eventual nominee, Barack Obama.
The president is expected to easily win Democratic renomination for 2012, but Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, said he voted to hold a primary anyway to make it more convenient for Republicans to participate in selecting their nominee.
He also said that as a senator and a candidate for Secretary of State, he had promised to support primaries and the right to vote.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach had asked the Legislature to either skip the 2012 primary or approve $1.3 million in state money to pay for it.