Sen. Mitch Holmes, R-St. John, is championing the Help Kansas Vote Act, which would move municipal and school board elections to the fall and make them partisan. The stated purpose of the move is to increase voter participation, which is lower in spring elections – though Holmes also seems interested in diluting the voting power of teachers. Most local officials oppose the move and see it as a GOP attempt to exert more control of local government. Kansans for Liberty, a Wichita-based tea party group, told its members to be careful about which words they use when testifying in support of the bill. “Make sure that we don’t say ‘consolidated elections,’” the group said in an e-mail. “This is a sensitive issue, so Mitch and others are calling these ‘uniform election dates.’” – Phillip Brownlee
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