Low voter turnout in primary bolsters Kansas lawmaker seeking fall local elections

Kansas lawmakers are pushing to move local elections to the fall amid low turnout.

Rep. Mark Kahrs, R-Wichita, said in a news conference Wednesday that extremely low turnout in Tuesday’s city primary elections illustrates the need to move local elections to the fall on even-numbered years so that they coincide with statewide and national elections.

Turnout was 9.6 percent of registered voters in Sedgwick County, 10.4 percent in Shawnee County, 13.6 percent in Douglas County and just 5.8 percent in Johnson County. That’s according to a statement by the House Republican Caucus.

The Senate already has passed a bill moving local elections to the fall, and Kahrs has proposed amending both House and Senate bills to move local races to the top of the ballot.