Archive for Thursday, July 20, 2006

Secretary of state seeks area votes

July 20, 2006

— Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh this week tried to rally support from the Leavenworth County Republican Women's Club in anticipation of a close race in the Aug. 1 primary election.

"I need your support because I know the importance of one vote," he said, asking those in attendance Monday at the High Noon Saloon to use their car bumpers and yards to publicize his candidacy.

Thornburgh is seeking re-election to a fourth term as secretary of state. His opposition for the GOP nomination is Kay O'Connor, a state senator from Olathe. The winner of the Republican primary will square off in November against the winner of the Democratic primary, which pits Wichita attorney Robert Beattie against State Sen. David Haley of Kansas City, Kan.

O'Connor spoke at the Leavenworth County Republican Women's Club's meeting in May.

During his speech, Thornburgh addressed issues that O'Connor brought up during her visit with the club two months ago.

"Senator O'Connor and I just disagree," he said about his opponent.

One of those disagreements is the numbers of registered voters in Kansas that cannot be accounted for. These are names on the state's voter registration list that do not match with the Department of Motor Vehicles driver's license registry.

In May, O'Connor said that the number was 270,000.

Thornburgh said the figure O'Connor cited was from February 2005 and is now much smaller.

"There were problems," Thornburgh said about the voter registration list. "Today that number is 42,000."

Thornburgh explained that because it is not a requirement to have a driver's license, it is possible that there are legitimate registered voters who simply do not have a Kansas driver's license, such as the elderly. Any voter that is flagged as not matching on the two lists must show identification on Election Day to prove residency.

Linda Scheer, Leavenworth County Election Officer, asked Thornburgh about the possibility of a presidential primary in Kansas. He said he was in favor of a two-party primary in Kansas, at a cost of $1.7 million.

"I think it's worth it," he said, because it could bring economic development to the state and have a political impact.

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