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20-2901. Proposition of method of selection of judges of district court; submission of proposition on filing of petition or in newly established district. (a) The proposition of the method of selecting judges of the district court shall be submitted to the qualified electors in each judicial district, as authorized by section 6 of article 3 of the Kansas constitution, when a petition therefor is submitted to the secretary of state in accordance with this section. In the case of a petition for the adoption of the nonpartisan method of selection, the following shall appear on the petition:

"We request an election to determine whether judges of the district court in this district shall continue to be elected or shall be appointed by the governor upon nominations by a district nominating commission and subject to retention in office by a vote of the voters."

In the case of a petition for the rejection of the nonpartisan method of selection, the following shall appear on the petition:

"We request an election to determine whether judges of the district court in this district shall continue to be appointed by the governor upon nominations by a district nominating commission and subject to retention in office by a vote of the voters or shall be elected."

(b) The proposition of the method of selecting judges of the district court shall be submitted to the qualified electors in: (1) Any newly established judicial district which consists of all or parts of two or more previously established districts which used different methods of selecting judges of the district court; and (2) any judicial district to which new territory is attached if any portion of such territory was transferred from a district which used a method of selecting its judges which is different from the method used in any other district from which any portion of the territory was transferred or the district to which the territory is attached.

(c) The proposition on the ballot at an election held pursuant to this section for the adoption of nonpartisan selection shall be as follows:

"The present method of electing judges of the district court in this judicial district shall be discontinued and there is hereby adopted in this judicial district the nonpartisan method of selection of judges by the governor upon nominations by a district nominating commission and subject to retention in office by a vote of the voters." Provision shall be made for marking the question "Yes" or "No."

(d) The proposition on the ballot at an election held pursuant to this section for the repeal of nonpartisan selection shall be as follows:

"The present method of nonpartisan selection of judges of the district court in this judicial district by the governor upon nominations by a district nominating commission and subject to retention in office by a vote of the voters shall be discontinued and there is hereby adopted in this judicial district the election of judges of the district court by the voters." Provision shall be made for marking the question "Yes" or "No."

(e) The proposition on the ballot at any election held pursuant to subsection (b) shall be as follows:

"Judges of the district court in this judicial district shall be selected: (vote for only one of the following methods)

(1) By election by the voters.

(2) By nonpartisan appointment by the governor from among nominations by a district nominating commission and subject to election on retention in office by a vote of the voters."

(f) If a majority of the votes cast and counted on the proposition is in favor of the nonpartisan method of selection or against election of judges of the district court, the provisions of this act shall govern the selection and retention of judges of the district court in the judicial district, notwithstanding any other law providing for the election of judges of the district court, until such time as the proposition of the method of selection of the judges of the district court is resubmitted to the voters of the judicial district and a different method of selection is approved by the voters as provided by this section. If a majority of the votes cast and counted is in favor of election of judges of the district court or against the nonpartisan method of selection, vacancies in the office of judge of the district court in the judicial district shall be filled in the manner provided by law for the filling of such vacancies in judicial districts in which judges of the district court are elected, until such time as the proposition of the method of selection of the judges of the district court is resubmitted to the voters of the judicial district and a different method of selection is approved by the voters as provided by this section.

(g) Except as provided in subsection (b), when the proposition of the method of selecting judges of the district court is submitted to the electors in a judicial district in 1984 or in any subsequent year, such proposition may be resubmitted to the electors in the judicial district not more often than once every eight years thereafter, whenever there shall be submitted to the secretary of state a petition signed by qualified electors of the judicial district, equal in number to not less than 5% of the electors of the judicial district who voted for the office of secretary of state at the last preceding general election. In such event, the secretary of state shall cause the appropriate proposition as stated in subsection (c) or (d) to be placed on the ballot at the next succeeding general election in an even-numbered year which occurs more than 90 days after the date such petition is filed with the secretary of state.

(h) It shall be the duty of the state board of canvassers to canvass the votes in each judicial district voting on the proposition of the method of selection of judges of the district court in the manner prescribed by K.S.A. 25-3206, and amendments thereto. Upon completion of the final canvass and certification of the results, the secretary of state shall transmit a copy of the results for each such judicial district to the chief justice of the supreme court. Upon receipt thereof, the chief justice shall notify the clerk of the supreme court and the board of county commissioners of each county in a judicial district which voted in favor of the nonpartisan method of selection of their respective duties under this act, and the chief justice shall designate a chairperson of the commission for each such judicial district, as provided in K.S.A. 20-2903, and amendments thereto.

History: L. 1974, ch. 137, § 1; L. 1974, ch. 138, § 1; L. 1976, ch. 145, § 95; L. 1979, ch. 84, § 1; L. 1982, ch. 130, § 16; L. 1982, ch. 129, § 10; L. 1985, ch. 107, § 1; July 1.


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