Shawnee Dispatch

Kansas governor signs bills changing state election laws

June 8, 2015, 9:25 a.m. Updated: 8 June 2015, 10:22 a.m.

— Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed bills to change the timing of many local elections and to give the secretary of state the power to prosecute election fraud cases.

Brownback had a signing ceremony Monday.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach has sought prosecutorial authority for the four-plus years he's been in office.

Kobach said his office is investigating dozens of potential cases. He said he could prosecute some personally.

Brownback said Kobach took the issue to voters in winning two terms as secretary of state. But Kobach's critics worry that he'll abuse the power.

The other bill signed by Brownback moves city and local school board elections from the spring to the fall of odd-numbered years. Supporters contend the change will boost turnout.

Critics say the change will be disruptive.

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