TOPEKA – Shawnee County Election Commissioner, Elizabeth “Libby” Ensley filed Monday to run for Kansas Secretary of State.
“The politics of fear and intimidation end here today,” she said.
Ensley called for government photo identification to be shown by voters at every election to prevent election fraud. She promised that the requirement would not restrict the elderly and others who could legitimately vote but did not have photo identification.
A Republican, Ensley will face off against former Kansas GOP Chairman Kris Kobach in the August primary.
The primary winner will run against Democrat Chris Biggs in the November election. Biggs was appointed to serve the remainder of the term for Secretary of State after former Secretary Ron Thornburg, a Republican, left to take a job in the private sector.
Thornburg has endorsed Ensley’s campaign.
Ensley, 51, said that of all the candidates she was the only one with experience regulating elections after 11 years working in the Secretary of States office and 18 as the Shawnee County Election Commissioner.
As commissioner Ensley said she investigated, prosecuted and convicted 12 people of election fraud.
“I want to make sure we have safe, secure and accurate elections,” she said.
Ensley said she took her inspiration from her great grandmother, Belle Tillotson whose voter registration card from July 26, 1918 she displayed. The card was a reminder of how important elections were, said Ensley.
While women gained the right to vote in national elections in 1920, in Kansas they could participate in statewide elections starting in 1912 and local elections starting in the 1800s, Ensley said.