Wichita State professors, students discuss takeaways from Kansas midterm election

It’s been a week since the 2022 midterms with seats in Kansas unofficially determined. Tuesday, students at Wichita State University took a closer look.
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 10:29 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It’s been a week since the 2022 midterms with seats in Kansas unofficially determined. Tuesday, students at Wichita State University took a closer look at election results.

During a panel, WSU professors of sociology and political science shared their insight into the Kansas political landscape.

“This really is a status quo election for Kansas. We’re going to have the same governor, we’re going to have most of the same legislature. Kansas has not moved as far right as states like Missouri or Oklahoma,” said WSU Associate Professor and Political Science Department Chair Dr. Neal Allen.

Dr. Allen said Kansans chose to retain their power with their votes on the constitutional amendment questions. The first dealt with legislative veto power. If approved, Kansas state lawmakers could have blocked or suspended rules and regulations issued by executive branch agencies with just a simple majority vote.

Ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm election, supporters said it would give lawmakers more oversight. Opponents said it would disrupt checks and balances between the legislative and executive branches. The “no” vote that narrowly passed maintains current rules.

The next amendment passed. It requires counties to elect the position of sheriff with the exception of counties that have already abolished the position.

“Amendment one failed likely because voters are still unhappy with the state legislature. With amendment two, they got a chance to say ‘yes’ to their own power to elect sheriffs,” Dr. Allen said.

He said voter turnout is often lower in odd-year elections, but students and professors at Tuesday’s panel said they’re looking forward to next year.

“Local races always matter and we got some big ones on the ballot here in Wichita,” Dr. Allen said. “The mayor is up and also, we will have other members of the city council.”

WSU political science student Sophie Martins said she’s motivated to encourage more people to vote.

“There was a lot of work to get more Shockers, especially to go out and vote. That’s my biggest thing to harp on is just, make sure that you have a voice. Go out and vote,” she said.

Results from the Nov. 8 midterm election in Sedgwick County remain unofficial until the county canvass certifies each of the counts. In Sedgwick County, the canvass starts at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at the county’s election office. Certification of the results will then happen Monday, Nov. 21.