What’s on the Ballot November 8?

Constitutional Amendments

The Kansas Legislature voted to include two constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Printable .pdf info card
Link to text only version of info card

Proposed Constitutional Amendment—Legislative Oversight of Administrative Rules and Regulations; HCR 5014

HCR 5014, if approved by voters, would amend the Kansas Constitution to create a new section in Article 1 concerning legislative oversight of administrative rules and regulations. The new section would provide that, whenever the Legislature by law has authorized any officer or agency within the Executive Branch to adopt rules and regulations that have the force and effect of law, the Legislature may provide by law for revocation or suspension of any such rules and regulation, or any portion thereof, by a majority vote of the members of each house.

What will I see on my ballot?
There will be quite a bit of text on your ballot explaining this amendment. Here’s the official wording you will see on Election Day.

Explanatory statement. The purpose of this amendment is to provide the legislature with oversight of state executive branch agencies and officials by providing the legislature authority to establish procedures to revoke or suspend rules and regulations.

A vote for this proposition would allow the legislature to establish procedures to revoke or suspend rules and regulations that are adopted by state executive branch agencies and officials that have the force and effect of law.

A vote against this proposition would allow state executive branch agencies and officials to continue adopting rules and regulations that have the force and effect of law without any opportunity for the legislature to directly revoke or suspend such rules and regulations.

Shall the following be adopted?

§ 17. Legislative oversight of administrative rules and regulations. Whenever the legislature by law has authorized any officer or agency within the executive branch of government to adopt rules and regulations that have the force and effect of law, the legislature may provide by law for the revocation or suspension of any such rule and regulation, or any portion thereof, upon a vote of a majority of the members then elected or appointed and qualified in each house.


information from http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/documents/summary_hcr_5014_2022)

Other background info:
Testimony & Minutes from Committee Hearings
LWVK testimony on March 2, 2022, in Senate Committee on Judiciary
Constitutional Amendment Explainer from The Voter Network


 

Proposed Constitutional Amendment—Election of County Sheriffs; HCR 5022

HCR 5022, if approved by a majority of Kansas voters, would amend Article 9, Sections 2 and 5 of the Kansas Constitution to add language concerning the election of county sheriffs and removal of a sheriff from office.

The constitutional amendment would require the election of a county sheriff in counties that had not abolished the office of sheriff before January 11, 2022, and specify that a sheriff be elected in such counties for a term of four years. [Note: Riley County abolished its sheriff’s office in 1974 and is the only county in Kansas without a sheriff.]

The amended section would state any county that had abolished the office of sheriff prior to January 11, 2022, would be authorized to restore the office of sheriff as provided by law, and such restoration would be irrevocable.

The amendment would also specify that a county sheriff only may be involuntarily removed from office by a recall election pursuant to Article 4, Section 3 of the Kansas Constitution or a writ of quo warranto initiated by the Attorney General.

What will I see on my ballot?
There will be quite a bit of text on your ballot explaining this amendment. Here’s the official wording you will see on Election Day.

Explanatory statement. This amendment would preserve the right of citizens of each county that elected a county sheriff as of January 11, 2022, to continue electing the county sheriff. The amendment would also provide that a county sheriff only may be involuntarily removed from office pursuant to either a recall election or a writ of quo warranto initiated by the attorney general.

A vote for this proposition would preserve the right of citizens of each county that elected a county sheriff as of January 11, 2022, to continue electing the county sheriff via popular vote. The amendment would also direct that a county sheriff only may be involuntarily removed from office pursuant to either a recall election or a writ of quo warranto initiated by the attorney general.

A vote against this proposition would not make any changes to the constitution and would retain current law concerning the election of a sheriff and the procedures for involuntary removal of a sheriff from office.

Shall the following be adopted?

§ 2. County and township officers. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), each county shall elect a sheriff for a term of four years by a majority of the qualified electors of the county voting thereon at the time of voting designated for such office pursuant to law in effect on January 11, 2022, and every four years thereafter.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to a county that abolished the office of sheriff prior to January 11, 2022. Such county may restore the office of sheriff as provided by law and such restoration shall be irrevocable. A county that restores the office of sheriff shall elect a sheriff by a majority of the qualified electors of the county voting thereon for a term of four years. Such sheriff shall have such qualifications and duties as provided by law. The time of voting for the office of sheriff may be provided for by the legislature pursuant to section 18 of article 2 of this constitution.

(c) The filling of vacancies and the qualifications and duties of the office of sheriff shall be as provided by law.

(d) The legislature shall provide for such other county and township officers as may be necessary.

5. Removal of officers. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), all county and township officers may be removed from office, in such manner and for such cause, as shall be prescribed by law.

(b) A county sheriff only may be involuntarily removed from office by recall election pursuant to section 3 of article 4 of this constitution or a writ of quo warranto initiated by the attorney general.


information from http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/documents/summary_hcr_5022_2022

Other background info:
Testimony & Minutes from Committee Hearings
Do Elected Sheriffs Have Outsized Power in the U.S.?: NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with researcher Brenda Choresi Carter, Director of the Reflective Democracy Campaign, and Supervisor Koran Saines of Loudon County, Va., about the role of elected sheriffs in local law enforcement.
Constitutional Amendment Explainer from The Voter Network


Also on the Nov. 8 Ballot:
Retention of Kansas Supreme Court Justices, Kansas Court of Appeals Judges, and Judicial District Judges

How does Kansas select its Supreme Court Justices?

In 1958, Kansans voted to change the state Constitution and select Supreme Court Justices via the merit-based nomination process. An independent and nonpartisan commission reviews applicants’ background, judicial temperament, and experience, followed by public interviews. The commission narrows the pool to three names and sends them to the Governor. The Governor chooses one nominee to appoint.

Read more about the merit-based judicial selection process
Filing a Supreme Court vacancy Fact Sheet

information from https://www.kscourts.org/Judges/Become-a-Judge/Nominating-Commissions

From Ballotpedia: Judicial Selection in Kansas

Judicial Evaluations from Johnson County Bar Association. The JCBA developed the survey in order to provide information for voters to assess the performance of district court judges, particularly those up for retention in November’s election.