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25-3601. Application to both state and local elections; determination of sufficiency of petitions; signatures; question to be submitted filed with county or district attorney prior to circulation; determination of legality of form; application of other statutes; copies of statutes to be provided. (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (d), if a petition is required or authorized as a part of the procedure applicable to the state as a whole or any legislative election district or to any county, city, school district or other municipality, or part thereof, the provisions of K.S.A. 25-3601 et seq., and amendments thereto, shall apply. The sufficiency of each signature and the number thereof on any such petition shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 25-3601 through 25-3607, and amendments thereto, by the county election officer or such other official as designated in the applicable statute. Except as provided herein, a copy of any petition requesting an election in any political or taxing subdivision of the state shall be submitted to the office of the county attorney of the county or district attorney of the district in which all or the greater portion of the political or taxing subdivision is located. If a county counselor has been appointed in the county or district, the petition shall be submitted to the county counselor. The petition shall be submitted either by hand-delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such petition shall contain the question to be submitted at the election. Within five business days following submission of the petition, the county counselor, county attorney or district attorney shall furnish a written advisory opinion as to the legality of the form of the question contained on the petition. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the form of any question approved by the county counselor, county attorney or district attorney complies with the requirements of this act. If such opinion is not furnished within five days of submission of the question, the form of the question shall be deemed in compliance with the requirements of this act.

If the advisory opinion states that the form of the question contained in the petition does not comply with the requirements of this act, such advisory opinion shall also state specific grounds to support such determination.

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting the circulation of a petition for signatures or the filing of such petition with the county election officer prior to obtaining the advisory opinion required by this subsection.

(b) Any person challenging the validity of the form of a question shall have the burden of proving in the district court that the form of the question is invalid.

(c) The form of any question in a petition requesting an election on or protesting an ordinance, or resolution, adopted by the governing body of any county, city, school district or other municipality shall be presumed to be valid and in compliance with the requirements of K.S.A. 25-3601 et seq., and amendments thereto, if such petition states the title, number and exact language of the ordinance, or resolution, and the title of such petition states:

"Shall the following ordinance, or resolution, become effective?"

(d) When any other statute imposes specific requirements which are different from the requirements imposed by K.S.A. 25-3601 et seq., and amendments thereto, the provisions of the specific statute shall control. The county election officer or other official with whom the petition is required to be filed in accordance with the applicable statute shall give to persons requesting information regarding the filing of petitions a copy of K.S.A. 25-620 and article 36 of chapter 25 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto.

(e) Any action challenging the validity of the form of a question in a petition shall be filed in the district court within 20 days after such petition has been filed with the county election officer.

The court shall render an opinion in any action filed to challenge the validity of the form of a question in a petition within 20 days after the date such action is filed with the court.

(f) The provisions of K.S.A. 25-3601 et seq., and amendments thereto, shall not apply to recall petitions as described in K.S.A. 25-4301 et seq., and amendments thereto, or a grand jury petition as described in K.S.A. 22-3001(c), and amendments thereto.

History: L. 1970, ch. 147, § 1; L. 1989, ch. 107, § 4; L. 1992, ch. 194, § 2; L. 2001, ch. 141, § 1; L. 2007, ch. 125, § 3; L. 2017, ch. 92, § 9; July 1.

Revisor's Note:

Section was amended twice in 1989 session, see also 25-3601a.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"People Have the Power: The Power of the Petition," Robert W. Parnacott, 80 J.K.B.A. No. 3, 32 (2011).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Incomplete notations of signing date of election petitions. 84-41.

Sufficiency of petitions; petition documents, contents. 85-160.

Sufficiency of petitions; petition documents, contents. 86-19.

Sufficiency of petitions; contents of petition. 86-51.

Open public meetings; notice and agenda of meetings. 86-133.

Business improvement districts; protest petition to repeal ordinance; determination of sufficiency of petition signatures. 87-71.

Election petition documents; withdrawal of signature. 88-103.

Creation of county sewer district by petition; contents. 88-115.

Creation of sewer districts by petition; contents. 90-37.

Petition form and election to exclude county from legislative act. 90-64.

Petition and election for change in number of county commission districts. 90-71.

Petition for proposed ordinance; requirements; electors; determination of sufficiency of petition signatures. 91-67.

Election petition contents; verification; tax levy for county hospital. 91-94.

Election to change form of city government; petition; county or district attorney opinion; retrospective application of amendment. 92-120.

Change in number of county commission districts; time for holding election. 92-133.

Change in form of city government and in number of wards; petitions; requirements; time of election. 92-136.

Requirements for petitions for city; petition for proposed initiative and referendum ordinances. 94-95.

Determination for sufficiency of election petitions; mandatory submission of question to county or district attorney. 95-28.

Determination of sufficiency of petitions; authority of county or district attorney. 96-78.

Electors petition for proposed ordinance; requirements and procedure. 1999-59.

Petition regarding repeal of tax on intangible earnings. 2000-29.

Petition of community college to levy taxes for capital improvements; standing of circulator objecting to such petition. 2001-43.

Community college may rescind resolution to assess taxes. 2001-49.

Procedure to dissolve city of third class. 2001-50.

Signatures on protest petition do not need to be verified. 2003-18.

Applications of general petition requirements to a petition challenging a charter ordinance. 2009-17.

CASE ANNOTATIONS

1. Petition in opposition to proposed school tax levy required to be filed with county attorney; no specific procedure in K.S.A. 72-8801 makes this section applicable. Reed v. Seeman, 26 Kan. App. 2d 561, 564, 990 P.2d 1238 (1999).


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