Kansas Voter Guide: What’s coming up in the 2022 primary election

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KCQ Votes: Resources for the August 2 Primary

What’s on your ballot for the August 2 primary? The Kansas City Star Service Journalism Team has compiled voting guides and resources for voters in Kansas and Missouri.

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Kansas voters have the opportunity to cast a lead vote on August 2 for a slew of positions: governor and other statewide offices, congressmen sent to Washington, DC, and statemen scheduled to serve in Topeka.

And all voters in Kansas — regardless of party affiliation — will also vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would remove statewide protections against abortion.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about the change. We’ve answered the most common questions we’ve heard from readers and reviewed some common claims in this guide right here.

BEHIND OUR REPORTING

Your Quick Guide to Abortion Change in Kansas

The Kansas state constitution currently protects abortion rights, but the upcoming Aug. 2 vote will prompt voters to decide on an amendment that would remove those protections.

If the Kansans vote yes On the vote and amendment resolutions, lawmakers will have the opportunity to enact new restrictions on abortion that could include a ban on the procedure. A ban would not take effect immediately, but lawmakers could pass one. Earlier this year, a state legislature introduced a bill that would have banned and criminalized nearly all abortion, but it never got a hearing and died when the legislature ended in May.

When Kansans vote no and if the amendment is not passed, legislatures would still be barred from passing most laws that impede a person’s access to abortion. Any new abortion restrictions would have to clear an extremely high level of “strict scrutiny” by the court to become law. Current abortion restrictions could be challenged in court, but any actual changes to the current restrictions would depend on whether the Kansas courts rule that the regulation in question violates the state constitution.

All registered voters can take part in voting, regardless of their party affiliation.

Here, the star answered the most common reader questions we’ve received about the abortion change.

Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. You can check your voter registration and find your voting location through the Kansas State Department. Early voting has already begun in many counties in Kansas, including Johnson County. Early voting begins Saturday, July 23 in Wyandotte County.

Much is at stake for the future of the state, and at The Star, we believe our democracy is stronger when more people have the information they need to participate and shape it. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to decide who is most likely to make decisions that you believe will best serve you and your community.

Below are the candidates’ responses to a short poll based on what we heard from nearly 60 readers who asked questions to The Star.

The most common topics readers wanted to include in the poll were: abortion rights, gun laws, the state of K-12 education in Kansas, and the cost of living. The second most common topic was climate change.

How the Voter Guide works:

Click on the race that interests you and the names of the candidates and their answers will be listed in the order in which they appear on your ballot. You can filter by political party to see what will be on your party’s primary ballot, or by county based on race.

Johnson County commission nominees will be added later this week.

Any candidate who does not have any answers under their name did not take the survey. Our team at The Star have contacted Campaigns several times over the past few weeks, both by email and by phone.

If you are a candidate and would like to contact us and still submit responses, you can email us at [email protected]cstar.com.

A note on editing and fact checking

Some survey responses have had their grammar edited slightly, but the content of the responses has not been edited at all and is the candidates’ own words. The star didn’t verify all of the contestants’ responses.

If you’re concerned about misinformation, or want to learn more about some of the issues referenced in the candidates’ responses, we’d like to include the following resources from The Star’s previous coverage:

US Senate

Senators create and vote on bills that may become federal law if passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President. Senators also hold hearings on various issues, confirm the appointments of individuals the President appoints to specific positions in the federal government, and hear impeachment proceedings for federal officials.

Each state gets two senators who serve for six years in Congress in Washington, DC. Republicans Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran currently represent Kansas in the Senate. Moran is running for re-election this year.

US house

Representatives create and vote on bills that may become federal law if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, and serve on committees. The House of Representatives is the chamber of Congress that first introduces spending legislation and can impeach federal officials.

Kansas State Representatives serve the people of their district in Congress in Washington, DC for two years. Kansas has four US Representatives.

If you don’t know your district, look here.

governor

The governor is the head of state government and is responsible for Enforcement of state laws, administration of the executive budget, and supervision and appointment of heads of state agencies. The governor can sign bills into state law or veto a bill and send it back to the legislature.

Governors serve four-year terms. Democrat Laura Kelly is the current governor and is running for re-election.

To see the candidates’ answers to our questions, please go to the article on our website.

foreign minister

This office of bureaucracy is responsible for conducting elections in the state of Kansas, issuing official state publications, and maintaining business records for all corporations authorized to do business in the state.

The position is currently being filled by Scott Schwab, a Republican running for re-election.

Attorney General

The Attorney General is responsible for enforcing the laws of Kansas and is the state’s chief attorney, filing and defending lawsuits and providing legal opinions on behalf of the state. The agency also protects consumers from fraud.

The Attorney General serves a four-year term. The position is currently held by Derek Schmidt, a Republican who is now running for governor.

State Treasurer

The State Treasurer is responsible for managing state funds and acts as a kind of chief banker for the state. The Office of the State Treasurer handles things like bond services, cash management, the state education savings program, and unclaimed property. The current state treasurer is Lynn Rogers, a Democrat who was appointed by Kelly in 2021 after Republican Jake LaTurner was elected to Congress.

Insurance Commissioner of Kansas

This statewide officer is responsible for regulating the insurance policies and financial collateral offered by private companies in Kansas. Republican Vicki Schmidt currently holds the post.

state house

State officials are legislators responsible for drafting and voting laws. They also help prepare the state budget and draft laws regulating state agencies.

There are 125 state representatives in the Kansas House, each serving two-year terms.

If you don’t know your district, look here.

Education Council

The State Board of Education has 10 members who are elected for four-year terms. The board oversees the public schools and represents the educational interests of the state.

If you don’t know your district, look here.

District Court Judge

The district judge oversees the court proceedings in a particular district of Kansas and makes decisions in civil and criminal matters. There are currently 18 district judges in Johnson County and 15 in Wyandotte County.

The following eligible judges are all located in District 29 of Wyandotte County.

If you don’t know your district, look here.

This story was originally published July 19, 2022 5:00 am.

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