Wichita voting – Voters in Wichita and the rest of Sedgwick County have a right to be upset with the handling of the general election. The county was unable to report any election results until nearly 11 p.m. and didn’t have full results until almost 2 a.m. Even more maddening is the fact that a similar situation delayed results after the August primary election. Since taking office two years ago, Secretary of State Kris Kobach has frequently touted the need to protect the integrity of elections by instituting voter ID and proof-of-citizenship requirements. The situation in Wichita shows that running efficient and professional elections that allow voters to cast their ballots and receive voting results in a timely manner also is a key part of giving officials and voters confidence in the accuracy and validity of the election system.
Insurance exchange – Gov. Sam Brownback decided the state would not participate in setting up the health insurance exchange required by law. Instead, the governor will give control to the federal government. Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, an elected official in her own right and surely the most qualified state employee to oversee the exchange’s implementation, has been shut down. Given the number of department heads Brownback has appointed who have proved sadly lacking in their performance, he should have allowed this one to do what’s best for Kansans. That doesn’t appear to be the governor’s primary focus, however.
Hays Daily News
Gov. Sam Brownback made a good move when he rejected forming a state-federal health insurance exchange in Kansas. Brownback has been so closed to the new law that it would not serve Kansans to have to rely upon his administration to fairly and accurately carry out the exchange provisions. State residents are better served with a federal program for now.
Kobach – Because the Latino population in this country is growing fast, Republican leaders are beginning to talk about how to appeal to Latino voters. With his not-so-subtle effort to suppress voting by Latinos and other minorities, Secretary of State Kris Kobach is on a totally different path. It looks like the Grand Old Party may have to choose between winning national elections in the future and following the lead of Kobach.
Winfield Daily Courier
New leaders – What will it take to move Kansas back toward the center? Let us hope and pray the state will not have to wait for crises to develop in the state’s public schools and universities, and for Kansas to get a national reputation for failing to care for its disabled and poor, before the voters wake up and disavow the destructive policies of the radical right. Our recent history tells us Kansas can produce outstanding leaders who have hearts as well as minds. It will take that brand of leadership to shepherd Kansas out of its self-imposed exile back into the nation’s mainstream.
Snyder – What coach Bill Snyder and his staff have done with K-State, a heretofore coaches’ graveyard, defies believability. But there is more to be gleaned from Snyder’s accomplishments than a successful season. Google “K-State Football’s 16 Goals for Success.” Commitment, leadership, self-discipline, unselfishness, never giving up. These are not original ideas, and all coaches preach them. The trick is to get your team – or “youngsters,” as the 73-year-old Snyder calls them – to really believe and practice them. Snyder obviously has been able to do this.