Kansas AG vows to prosecute any violation of election laws


In this Sept. 8, 2020 photo, voting booths are kept socially distant at the Chesterfield, N.H. polling site. A majority of President Donald Trump’s supporters plan to cast their ballot on Election Day, while about half of Joe Biden’s backers plan to vote by mail. That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that finds 54% of voters say they will vote before polls open on Nov. 3. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he will prosecute any violations of election laws in Douglas County that the district attorney refuses to act upon.

Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said last week her office will not prosecute violations of new voting laws that took effect on July 1.  She said the laws are too vague and too broad. Among the provisions is one that makes it illegal to “give the appearance of being an election official.”

State-level voter engagement groups contend the provision could criminalize their work if Kansans mistake volunteers for election officials. Schmidt is a Republican seeking his party’s nomination for governor. He urged law enforcement agencies in the county to refer election law cases to him.

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