Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Kansas

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This page contains extensive information about ballot access requirements for state and federal candidates running for elected office in the state of Kansas. Offices included are:

This page contains information on specific filing dates for each election year, how to become a candidate, how to create a political party, campaign finance requirements, state agency contacts involved in the election process, and term limits in Kansas. Information on running for election as a presidential candidate or for county and municipal offices is not included.

Note: If you have any questions or comments about this page, email us.

Year-specific dates

2015

See also: Kansas elections, 2015

There are no regularly scheduled state executive, state legislative or congressional elections in Kansas in 2015.

2014


Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

As of September 2013, there were three officially recognized political parties in Kansas.[2]

Party Website link By-laws/platform link
Democratic http://www.ksdp.org/home Party by-laws
Libertarian http://www.lpks.org/ Party platform
Republican http://ksgop.org/ Party platform

In some states, a candidate may choose to have a label other than that of an officially recognized party appear alongside his or her name on the ballot. Such labels are called political party designations. A political party designation would be used when a candidate qualifies as an independent, but prefers to use a different label. Kansas does allow candidates to identify in this way. A total of 25 states allow candidates to use political party designations in non-presidential elections.

The 11 states listed below (and Washington, D.C.) do not provide a process for political organizations to gain qualified status in advance of an election. Instead, in these states, an aspirant party must first field candidates using party designations. If the candidate or candidates win the requisite votes, the organization may then be recognized as an official political party. In these states, a political party can be formed only if the candidate in the general election obtains a specific number of votes. The number of votes required and type of race vary from state to state. Details can be found on the state-specific requirements pages.[3]

Process to establish a political party

Figure 1: This is the a Petition to Establish Official Party Recognition in Kansas.

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 2a

A political organization seeking official recognition from the state as a political party must petition the Kansas Secretary of State for such status. Petitions must be signed by qualified electors equal in number to at least 2 percent of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election. In 2010, for example, 838,830 votes were cast for governor, meaning that an aspirant political party would need to submit at least 16,777 signatures on its petition for recognition.[4][5][6]

The petition must declare support for the official recognition of the political party named in the petition. A party seeking recognition cannot assume a name or designation that, in the opinion of the secretary of state, is "unreasonably lengthy or so similar to the name or designation of an existing political party as to confuse or mislead the voters at an election." Additional petition requirements are detailed below under "Petition requirements."[4][5]

Selecting candidates

Any party whose candidate for governor polled at least 5 percent of the total votes cast for the office at the most recent gubernatorial election is required to nominate its candidates by primary. Other officially recognized political parties must nominate their candidates for office by state convention.[5][7][8]

Procedural requirements

The statutes are largely silent as to the conduct of state conventions and other party business. Parties who nominate their candidates via convention are required by statute to submit a certified list of all nominees to the secretary of state by noon on June 1 of each election year (if June 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, this list is due on the next preceding business day).[5][8]

Maintaining party status

In order to maintain recognized status, a political party must field a candidate for statewide office who wins at least 1 percent of the total vote cast for such office at the general election. In 2010, for example, the statewide office for which the fewest number of votes were cast was for the commissioner of insurance. A total of 677,143 votes were cast for that office in 2010, meaning that a party's candidate for that office would have had to win at least 6,772 votes in order for the party to retain state recognition.[9]

Events

2015

On February 10, 2015, Representative Steven Johnson introduced HB 2274 in the Kansas House of Representatives. If enacted, the legislation would lower the petition signature requirements for newly-qualifying political parties from 2 percent to 1 percent of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor in the most recent general election. In addition. the bill would extend the qualifying period from six months to one year.[10][11]

Process to become a candidate

For party candidates

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 2, Section 5

A candidate seeking the nomination of a party qualified to participate in primary elections can gain access to the primary ballot in one of two ways. These are detailed below.

By filing a nomination petition

Signature requirements for nomination petitions for party candidates vary according to the office sought. For offices elected on a statewide basis, signatures must equal at least 1 percent of the total of the current voter registration of the party whose nomination the candidate seeks. Gubernatorial candidates must collect signatures equaling at least 1 percent of the total vote cast for the party's candidate for Kansas Secretary of State at the last preceding election. For offices elected by district, signatures must equal at least 2 percent of the total current voter registration of the party whose nomination the candidate seeks. Examples for gubernatorial candidates are provided in the table below. Because voter registration data provided by the Kansas Secretary of State does not break down registrations by electoral district, examples of signature requirements for other offices (such as congressional and state legislative seats) could not be calculated.[12][13]

Examples of nomination petition signature requirements for gubernatorial candidates
Office Party Party vote for Secretary of State in 2010[6] Required signatures
Governor Electiondot.png Democratic 308,641 3,087
Ends.png Republican 489,640 4,897

Nomination petitions for federal and state-level offices (including state legislative seats) must be submitted to the Kansas Secretary of State by noon on June 1, prior to the primary election. If June 1 falls on a holiday or weekend, petitions are due by noon on the next following business day.[12]

By paying a filing fee

A candidate may forgo the petition process by submitting a Declaration of Intention to Become a Candidate and paying a filing fee. The filing fee varies according to the office sought. For statewide and federal offices, the fee is equal to 1 percent of the office's annual salary. For state senate candidates, the fee is $75. For state representative candidates, the fee is $50. Examples of filing fees are provided in the table below.[12][14]

Filing fees as of 2014
Office Annual salary Fee
Governor $99,636 $996.36
Secretary of State $86,003 $860.03
U.S. Representative $174,000 $1,740
U.S. Senator $174,000 $1,740
State Senator $88.66/day** $75
State Representative $88.66/day** $50
State legislative filing fees are not calculated according to salary; rather, fixed dollar amounts are set by statute.

The declaration and accompanying filing fee for federal and state-level offices (including state legislative seats) must be submitted to the Kansas Secretary of State by noon on June 1, prior to the primary election. If June 1 falls on a holiday or weekend, petitions are due by noon on the next following business day.[12]

In addition to the statutory filing fee, a candidate for federal and state offices must pay a $20 administrative fee to the Kansas Secretary of State. A state-level candidate must also pay a registration fee to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. For statewide executive offices, the fee is $480. For state legislative candidates, the fee is $35.[5][15]

For independent candidates

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 3

Independent candidates must petition for access to the general election ballot. Signature requirements vary according to the office sought. For any statewide office, at least 5,000 signatures must be collected. For district-level offices (such as congressional or state legislative seats), signatures must equal at least 4 percent of the current total of qualified voters in the district as determined by the Kansas Secretary of State (because voter registration figures provided by the Kansas Secretary of State office do not break down registrations by electoral district, examples of signature requirements cannot be calculated).[16]

While an independent candidate is not liable for a statutory filing fee, he or shee must still pay a $20 administrative fee to the Kansas Secretary of State. State-level candidates must also pay a registration fee to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. For statewide executive offices, the fee is $480. For state legislative candidates, the fee is $35.[5][15]

Independent nomination petitions for federal and state-level offices (including state legislative seats) must be submitted to the Kansas Secretary of State by noon on the Monday preceding the date of the primary election.[17]

For write-in candidates

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 3

In order to have their votes tallied, certain write-in candidates must submit Affidavits of Write-In Candidacy. If the write-in candidate is running for governor, the affidavit must be filed with the Kansas Secretary of State by noon on the second Monday preceding the general election. If the write-in candidate is seeking any other statewide office (except U.S. Senator), the affidavit must be filed with the Kansas Secretary of State by noon on the second Monday preceding the election at which the write-in candidate seeks nomination or election. Write-in candidates for other federal and state offices are not required to file affidavits.[5][17]

Petition requirements

In some cases, political parties and/or candidates may need to obtain signatures via the petition process to gain access to the ballot. This section outlines the laws and regulations pertaining to petitions and circulators in Kansas.[18]

Format requirements

Party formation petitions

Petitions submitted for the formation of a new political party must be in substantially the following form:[19]

PETITION SEEKING THE OFFICIAL RECOGNITION OF THE _____ PARTY IN THE STATE OF KANSAS

I, the undersigned, hereby declare my support for the official recognition of the _____ Party. I have personally signed this petition; I am a registered elector of the state of Kansas and the County of _____, and my residence address is correctly written after my name.

[Signatures should be rendered as follows:]

[Name of signer] -- [Address as registered] -- [City] -- [Date of signing][20]

Nomination petitions for primary candidates

Petitions for candidates seeking the nomination of a political party at a primary election must be in substantially the following form:[21]

I, the undersigned, an elector of the county of _____, and state of Kansas, and a duly registered voter, and a member of _____ party, hereby nominate _____, who resides in the township of _____ (or at number _____ on _____ street, city of _____), in the county of _____ and state of Kansas, as a candidate for the office of (here specify the office) _____, to be voted for at the primary election to be held on the first Tuesday in August in _____, as representing the principles of such party; and I further declare that I intend to support the candidate herein named and that I have not signed and will not sign any nomination petition for any other person, for such office at such primary election.[20]

Nomination petitions for general election candidates

The specific form of an independent nomination petition is not stipulated in the relevant statutes. Nomination petition forms may be obtained from the Secretary of State's office.[22][18]

Circulation requirements

Due to a 2011 court ruling, circulators are no longer required to be registered voters or residents of the state. On May 8, 2014, Governor Sam Brownback signed HB 2130 into law, which formally repealed the circulator residency requirement.[23] A circulator must include a signed, notarized affidavit indicating that he or she personally witnessed every signature placed on the petition. A circulator may circulate petitions in more than one county, provided that each petition sheet contains signatures from residents of the same county.[18]

Petitions must be filed within 180 days after the date the first signature was collected.[24]

Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 41

Organizational requirements

Each candidate is required by law to appoint a treasurer or candidate committee within 10 days of becoming a candidate. Upon doing so, the candidate must file an Appointment of Treasurer or Candidate Committee form within 10 days. A candidate for state office (including the state legislature) must file this form with the Kansas Secretary of State. Contributions cannot be received and expenditures cannot be made until this form is filed.[25][26]

The treasurer's duties include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:[25]

  • receiving and recording all contributions, including the full name and residential address of the contributor, as well as the date of receipt and amount of the contribution
  • depositing all receipts into and making all disbursements by check from the campaign checking account
  • keeping copies of all contributors' checks in excess of $50
  • keeping written receipts for cash and in-kind contributions of $10 or greater
  • obtaining the occupation and industry in which the individual works, and recording the occupation and industry of each contributor for any contribution over $150
  • keeping a list of all individuals authorized to solicit or receive contributions on behalf of the candidate or committee
  • retaining all bank statements, cancelled checks, voided checks, and cancelled deposit slips
  • documenting each expenditure, including the full name and address of the payee, as well as the date, purpose and amount of the expenditure

The candidate may serve as his or her own treasurer.[25]

A candidate must open a checking account in a financial institution into which all contributions will be deposited and from which all expenditures will be made. If a candidate intends to make all expenditures from personal funds and not accept outside contributions, this requirement may be waived.[25]

Within 10 days after the candidate filing deadline, the candidate is required to submit a Statement of Substantial Interests. This form must be submitted to the Kansas Secretary of State.[25][27]

A candidate who intends to receive less than $500 in contributions or make less than $500 in expenditures may, at his or her discretion, file an Affidavit of Exemption from Filing Receipts and Expenditures Reports by a Candidate for State or Local Office. A candidate who opts not to file reports must still keep records of all contributions and expenditures.[25]

As noted above under "Process to become a candidate," each candidate for state-level and local office must pay a registration fee to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. For candidates for statewide office, the fee is $480. For candidates for state legislative office, the fee is $35.[25][28]

Reporting requirements

A candidate and/or his or her committee is required to file regular campaign finance reports. All such reports must include the following types of information:[25][29]

  • Contributions and other receipts
    • The report must include the date the contribution was received, the name and address of the contributor, and the amount received from each contributor whose contribution exceeds $50 in the aggregate for any reporting period; if the contribution is greater than $150, the occupation and industry of the contributor must also be noted.
    • The report must include the sum of all monetary contributions from contributors who gave $50 or less.
    • The report must note gross amount of total sales of political materials, such as campaign buttons, hats, banners, etc.
    • The report must include the sum of legal contributions from anonymous donors (anonymous contributions of $10 or less are permitted).
  • In-kind contributions
    • The report must include the date the contribution was received, the name and address of the in-kind contributor, a description of the contribution, and the amount received from each contributor whose in-kind contribution exceeds $100 in the aggregate for any reporting period (if the in-kind contribution is greater than $150, the occupation and industry of the contributor must also be noted).
  • Expenditures and other disbursements
    • The report must include the date the expenditure was paid, the name and address of the payee, the purpose, and the amount of each expenditure greater than $50.
    • The report must note the sum of all other expenditures of $50 or less.
  • Other transactions
    • The report note loans and other debts owed by the candidate or committee, including the date the loan or debt was incurred, the name and address of the person to whom the debt is owed, and the amount.
    • The report must include loans and other debts owed to the candidate or committee, including the date incurred, the name and address of the payee, and the amount.

A candidate for state-level office may file reports online through the E-Campaign Finance system. A candidate for statewide office is required to file campaign finance reports electronically.[30][31]

The reporting schedule is established by statute and is summarized in the table below.[32]

Statutory campaign finance report schedule for election years[29]
Report type Reporting period Deadline to file
Pre-primary report January 1 - 12 days prior to the primary 8th day prior to the primary
Pre-general report 11 days prior to the primary - 12 days prior to the general election 8th day prior to the general election
Post-general report 11 days prior to the general election - December 31 January 10 of the year following the election

In addition to these regular reports, special reports must be filed when a candidate receives a contribution of $300 or greater after the filing of the pre-primary or pre-general election report. Such reports must be filed before the primary and/or general election to disclose the contribution.[25]

Contribution limits

The contribution limits described in the below table apply to individuals, political action committees, corporations, partnerships, associations, and organizations. These aggregate limits apply to each election cycle. The primary election cycle runs through midnight of the day of the primary. The general election cycle begins the day after the primary and runs through December 31.[25][33]

Contribution limits
Office Contribution limit
Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Commissioner of Insurance $2,000
State Senator $1,000
State Representative $500

Election-related agencies

See also: State election agencies

Candidates running for office may require some form of interaction with the following agencies:

Secretary of State Office:

Why: This agency oversees candidate filing and election procedures.
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
Telephone: (785) 296-4561
Fax: (785) 291-3051
Email: election@sos.ks.gov
http://www.kssos.org/

Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission:

Why: This agency administers and enforces laws relating to conflicts of interest, financial disclosure and the regulation of lobbying.
534 S. Kansas Avenue, Ste. 1210
Topeka, KS 66603-3434
Telephone: (785) 296-5059
Toll-free: (800) 452-6727
Fax: (785) 296-5563
Email: helpcenter@ink.org
http://www.kansas.gov/ethics/

Term limits

State executives

Portal:State Executive Officials
See also: State executives with term limits and States with gubernatorial term limits

Kansas state executives are term-limited. These limits are established in Article 1, Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution. The state executive term limits in Kansas are as follows:[34]

There were no state executive offices affected by term limits in 2014.

State legislators

See also: State legislatures with term limits

Kansas does not place term limits on state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

Portal:Congress
See also: List of United States Representatives from Kansas and List of United States Senators from Kansas

Here is the current partisan breakdown of the congressional members from Kansas:

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from Kansas
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 0 0 0
     Republican Party 2 4 6
TOTALS as of March 2015 2 4 6

State legislative partisanship

Portal:State legislatures

Here is the current partisan breakdown of members of the state legislature of Kansas:

State Senate

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 8
     Republican Party 32
Total 40

State House

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 28
     Republican Party 97
Total 125

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Kansas + ballot + access"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Kansas ballot access news feed

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See also

External links

Official state and federal links

Other information

References

  1. Kansas Secretary of State, "2014 Election Calendar," accessed March 12, 2014
  2. Email correspondence with Kansas Secretary of State on September 17, 2013.
  3. E-mail consultation with ballot access expert Richard Winger in January 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 2a," accessed March 12, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Kansas Election Standards, "Chapter IV. - Candidates," revised April 1, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kansas Secretary of State, "2010 General Election - Official Vote Totals," accessed March 12, 2014
  7. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 2, Section 2," accessed March 12, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 2," accessed March 12, 2014
  9. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 2b," accessed March 12, 2014
  10. Ballot Access News, "Kansas Ballot Access Bill Introduced," February 20, 2015
  11. Kansas Legislature, "HB 2274," accessed February 23, 2015
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 2, Section 5," accessed March 12, 2014
  13. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 40, Section 5," accessed March 12, 2014
  14. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 2, Section 6," accessed March 12, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, "Campaign Finance Handbook for Candidates and Treasurers, 2014," accessed March 12, 2014
  16. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 3," accessed March 12, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 5," accessed March 12, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Kansas Election Standards, "Chapter V. - Petitions," revised April 1, 2012
  19. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 2a," accessed March 12, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  21. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 2, Section 5," accessed March 12, 2014
  22. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 3," accessed March 12, 2014
  23. Ballot Access News, "Kansas Governor Signs Bill, Repealing Ban on Out-of-State Circulators," May 8, 2014
  24. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 36, Section 2," accessed March 12, 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 25.7 25.8 25.9 Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, "Campaign Finance Handbook for Candidates and Treasurers, 2014," accessed March 12, 2014
  26. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 41, Section 44," accessed March 12, 2014
  27. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, "SSI Instruction and Guide," accessed March 12, 2014
  28. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 41, Section 19f," accessed March 12, 2014
  29. 29.0 29.1 Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 41, Section 48," accessed March 12, 2014
  30. Kansas Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance," accessed March 12, 2014
  31. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, "Blank Forms," accessed March 12, 2014
  32. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 41, Section 48," accessed March 12, 2014
  33. Kansas Statutes, "Chapter 25, Article 41, Section 53," accessed March 12, 2014
  34. Kansas Constitution, "Article 1, Section 1," accessed November 11, 2013