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2016 Statute



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25-623. Ballot language statements; duties of secretary of state, attorney general; liability of preparer; rules and regulations. (a) A county election officer may request the preparation of a ballot language statement for the purposes of explaining the language of a ballot question of any municipality as defined by K.S.A. 75-6102, and amendments thereto.

(1) If a request is submitted pursuant to this subsection and if the ballot question language was derived from a petition submitted to the office of the county attorney, district attorney or county counselor pursuant to K.S.A. 25-3601, and amendments thereto, such county election officer shall, within 10 days of certification, request the office of the county attorney, district attorney or county counselor, as applicable, to prepare the ballot language statement in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (3).

(2) If a request is submitted pursuant to this subsection and if the ballot question language did not derive from a petition submitted to the office of the county attorney, district attorney or county counselor pursuant to K.S.A. 25-3601, and amendments thereto, such county election officer shall, within 10 days of publication, request the office of secretary of state to prepare the ballot language statement in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (3).

(3) A ballot language statement shall fairly and accurately explain what a vote for and what a vote against the measure represents. Such ballot language statements shall be true and impartial statements of the effect of a vote for and against the measure in language neither intentionally argumentative nor likely to create prejudice for or against the proposed measure. A ballot language statement shall be prepared and transmitted in good faith and without malice.

(b) (1) Within 15 days of a request by a county election officer to prepare a ballot language statement pursuant to subsection (a)(1), the office of the county attorney, district attorney or county counselor, as applicable, shall prepare and forward such ballot language statement to the office of secretary of state for approval by the secretary of state or the secretary of state's designee that such ballot language statement complies with the requirements of subsection (a)(3). Within five days following the receipt of the ballot language statement, the office of secretary of state shall furnish the county election officer with the ballot language statement as approved by the office of secretary of state as in compliance with the requirements of subsection (a)(3).

(2) Within 15 days of a request by a county election officer to prepare a ballot language statement pursuant to subsection (a)(2), the secretary of state or the secretary's designee shall prepare and forward such ballot language statement to the office of the attorney general for approval by the attorney general, or any assistant attorney general, that such ballot language statement complies with the requirements of subsection (a)(3). Within five days following the receipt of the ballot language statement, the office of the attorney general shall furnish the county election officer with the ballot language statement as approved by the office of the attorney general as in compliance with the requirements of subsection (a)(3).

(c) A ballot language statement prepared under this section shall be:

(1) Posted in each polling place, but shall not be placed on the ballot;

(2) provided to registered voters voting by advance ballot. Such ballot language statement shall not be placed on the ballot when provided to a registered voter voting by advance ballot; and

(3) made available for public inspection in the office of the county election officer. A ballot language statement prepared under this section may be posted on the official website of the county.

(d) There shall be no cause of action at law or in equity challenging the validity of the form of a ballot language statement prepared under this section. There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against the attorney general, any assistant attorney general, the secretary of state, the secretary of state's employees, the county election officer, the county attorney, the district attorney or the county counselor as a result of the preparation of a ballot language statement under this section. The preparation of a ballot language statement shall not form any basis for an election contest or result in the waiver of any immunity by the state or any of its subdivisions.

(e) If the ballot language statement is not available to insert with the advance ballots, no ballot language statement shall be prepared or made available at the polling place, office of the county election officer, on the official website of the county or the news media.

(f) The secretary of state may promulgate by rules and regulations the rights and responsibilities of election officials which shall be taught to all election officials to aid such officials in understanding their jobs.

History: L. 2014, ch. 98, § 1; May 15.



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2017. Powered by KLISS. Rendered: 2017-10-21T10:48:10. Head Rev No: 285535