TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Monday he will prosecute any violations of election laws in Douglas County that the district attorney refuses to act upon.
Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez, a Democrat, said last week her office will not prosecute violations of new voting laws that took effect on July 1. She said they are too vague and too broad and threaten "to create felons out of dedicated defenders of democracy.”
Among the provisions is one that makes it illegal to “give the appearance of being an election official.” State-level voter engagement groups contend that could criminalize their work if Kansans mistake volunteers for election officials.
Schmidt, a Republican seeking his party's nomination for governor, urged law enforcement agencies in the county to refer election law cases to him, the Wichita Eagle reported.
“Thousands of Kansans will go to the polls tomorrow in the municipal primary elections. Citizens throughout our state deserve assurance that state election-integrity laws will be enforced and election crimes, like all other crimes, will be prosecuted when warranted by the evidence,” Schmidt said.