Kansas voters split results on constitutional amendments

Nov. 9—Kansas voters on Tuesday were split on two constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the Legislature, according to unofficial results, with more than three-quarters of precincts reporting.

As of 10 p.m., with 3,199 of 4,040 precincts reporting statewide, voters were narrowly rejecting Amendment 1 with 51% of the vote, according to the Kansas secretary of state's office. The amendment would have given the state House and Senate members the authority to revoke rules or regulations put in place by the governor or other state department officeholders.

Advocates of the proposal said the Legislature needed a better grip over state polices and rules, and that such would give the houses a more direct route to representing the people of the state.

Opponents said the proposal was a power grab for the Legislature and that the amendment was clearly designed to make it easier for a party with a large majority to dictate regulation it favors.

Amendment 2 was passing overwhelmingly, with 61% of the vote, with 3,199 of 4,040 precincts reporting as of 10 p.m. This amendment will require that counties elect sheriffs every four years, as most of Kansas' 105 counties do now.

The state constitution historically has provided for the election of sheriffs in each county but also includes a provision that allows for a county to set up a county law enforcement department or agency with a hired or appointed director. The director would answer to a board elected by the people.