WICHITA, Kan. — A candidate running for Kansas Secretary of State is calling for the Sedgwick County Election Commissioner to be fired.
Democrat Jean Schodorf is running against Secretary of State Kris Kobach in November's general election. On Wednesday, Schodorf issued a statement demanding that Kobach fire Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman over what she calls a series of mistakes.
“I demand that Secretary of State Kobach dismiss Tabitha Lehman immediately on the basis of incompetence and gross misconduct," Schodorf said. "Her repeated blunders show a lack of ability to perform the duties she is required to do in her position to ensure safe and secure elections in Kansas.”
Schodorf cited a recent case involving a group who started a petition drive to vote on decriminalizing marijuana in Wichita. Schodorf said that following an initial review, Lehman announced miscalculated results to the public. She said the petition had an incorrect total due to a subtraction error. The issue was resolved, but the petition was ruled to be 47 valid signatures short of the number required to put the question on the November ballot.
Schodorf said Lehman should be dismissed for the "inability to perform simple mathematical calculations," lack of security involving sensitive personal information, counting votes and signatures of a petition behind closed doors and out of public view, registration errors on election day, failure to correct errors for two years and delayed election results.
Secretary of State Kobach responded to Schodorf's demand, telling KAKE News that Lehman has done a great job. He said Lehman is extremely honest and corrected a simple error on the recent petition involving 11 signatures.
He went on to say that Schodorf was a hypocrite, who criticizes minor errors but does not apply the same standards to herself.
"She (Schodorf) made an error by soliciting campaign contributions this past legislative session from lobbyists, but insists we pay no attention to that mistake," Kobach said.
He continued, "It's really unfortunate that when Schodorf makes a predictable partisan attack, she's doing it on an individual who's reputation is being sullied by her unwarranted attack."
Wednesday afternoon, Sedgwick County communications released the following statement on behalf of Tabitha Lehman. Click here for more.