August 22, 2022, Hiawatha – State Senator Dennis Pyle is pointing to the Secretary of State’s election calendar as evidence the Secretary of State, Scott Schwab, is trying to run out the clock on validating his petition for candidacy in the gubernatorial race in order to inhibit Pyle’s campaign. Military ballots go out 45 days (September 24) prior to the November 8 election, and First Day Advance by mail ballots are mailed and advance in-person voting begins October 19.
Senator Pyle said, “Since turning in the petition, the Secretary of State has said it would be September before certification, and more recently stated in writing about the possible validation occurring in early September, assuming then, there is objection and the objections committee were to be involved, partisan politics is already backing up my ballot access, not to mention the campaign, and participation in events. A lot of folks in Kansas are already suspicious that Secretary Schwab is responsible for giving us dishonest elections. Keeping me off the ballot and disrupting the campaign by purposely holding up the certification of my petition has only made their suspicions stronger.”
The Pyle petition had far more than the requisite number of names needed to put him on the ballot. While the statutes do not prioritize and the Secretary does have other tasks to deal with, it certainly is not that difficult to certify and should not take 30 days to complete. It is also true that a candidate for Governor has a great many tasks to undertake once filing has been completed and that the Secretary is also preventing those tasks by not being diligent in validating Pyle’s petition.
Pyle commented further, “It is apparent given the prior 2018 petition actions and the intent to not validate before 30 days, that the Secretary of State’s treatment of my petition is not fair and equal and that Secretary Schwab’s politics have seemingly entered the equation. It is a sad day for Kansas that a double standard has been applied. What gives Secretary Schwab the right to deny voters ballot options? These mischievous partisan actions create more election interference and deny Kansans choice. These attacks on an independent candidacy are not only a direct attack on our freedom to run for office but demonstrate the politicization of the Secretary of State’s Office.”