UPDATE: Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Kansas Senate is willing to give Secretary of State Kris Kobach the power to prosecute election fraud, but it also wants him to abolish his political action committee.
The Senate passed a bill Thursday that includes both policies. The 31-9 vote sent the measure to the House.
The Republican secretary of state has sought the authority to prosecute election fraud cases since he took office in January 2011. Kobach argues that county prosecutors are often too busy to pursue such cases.
But senators voted 23-17 to add an amendment barring the secretary of state from having a PAC that gets involved in partisan campaigns. The secretary of state is Kansas' top elections official.
Kobach formed his own PAC last year.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Kansas Senate is debating legislation that expands the definition of election fraud and gives the secretary of state authority to prosecute the crime.
Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach has made election fraud a major focus of his tenure since he took office in 2011.
Under existing law, only county attorneys and the Kansas attorney general can prosecute voter fraud. The bill being debated Thursday would extend the authority to the secretary of state.
The Senate rejected an effort by the Democratic minority to bar the secretary of state from forming a political action committee that contributes to legislative candidates, as Kobach did in 2012.