RON THORNBURGH
Secretary of State

STATE OF KANSAS
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
(785) 296-4564
www.kssos.org


NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Monday, June 24, 2002

Contact Information
Jesse Borjon, Communications Director
Office of the Secretary of State
(785) 296-4580
jesseb@kssos.org

THORNBURGH REQUESTS EXTENSION FOR
KANSANS SERVING OVERSEAS

Topeka, Ks - Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh announced he will ask the U.S. District Court to allow federal service personnel additional time to return their primary election ballots. Federal service ballots are sent to military service men and women and overseas civilians. Currently, federal service ballots are required to be received in the county election offices by the close of polls on Election Day, currently set for August 6th. State law requires federal service ballots to be mailed out 45 days prior to the election. Because of the change in the candidate filing deadline for U.S. House of Representatives, it is not possible to send out federal service ballots until July 12, 2002. The change in date leaves military persons only 25 days to return their ballots to the Secretary of State.


I am concerned that 25 days will not allow military men and women and overseas civilians enough time to return their ballots to my office and still have their votes counted, stated Thornburgh. I will ask the court to extend the deadline for county election officers to receive federal service ballots until Monday, August 12 at 5 p.m. Extending the deadline will give military men and women 31 days to return their ballots. We must do everything to preserve the right to vote especially for people serving our country overseas.

###