Friday, September 28, 2012

Kansas: Group starts collecting signatures for sure-to-not-reach-the-ballot Secretary of State recall

A group called Bias Busters of Kansas is starting to collect signatures to recall Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The reason is stated, but Kobach has been a lightening rod for criticism from Democrats, whether it is his immigration policy, his support for voter ID laws, his recent wavering over whether Barack Obama's name could appear on the ballot in Kansas.

Whatever the cause, the chances of a Kobach recall reaching the ballot is as close to zero as you can get. Kansas law has a malfeasance standard, so the petitioners would have to show some violation of the law or incompetence on Kobach part to get the recall on the ballot. Even if that were approved, petitioners would need 40% of turnout from the last election. Turnout in the 2010 election was about 830,000. In this case (if my math and the Kansas Election website is correct), it would be around 330,000 signatures.

Update: The AP claims that they need 83,000 signatures, but this is inaccurate. I just spoke with the Kansas Secretary of State's office and they confirmed what I wrote last night -- The law has a two stage process, with the application itself needing signatures equaling 10% of turnout. That is the 83,000 just for the application (which may very well be rejected by a judge). To get on the ballot, you need the 40% of turnout. That is on the order of 330,000 signatures.

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