Secretary of State Scott Schwab joined with representatives of Gov. Laura Kelly and Attorney General Derek Schmidt to reject the appeal of Overland Park resident Gerry Coleman to be included as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate on November ballots. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)
TOPEKA — Independent U.S. Senate candidate Gerry Coleman was a no-show Friday for appeal of the secretary of state’s decision to declare invalid his petition seeking placement on the November ballot.
Coleman, of Overland Park, presented July 25 a petition with typed names of 5,001 people, but it lacked corresponding signatures of those individuals.
His petition also was discounted because the secretary of state’s office determined the initial two names on Coleman’s petition didn’t belong to Kansas registered voters. That meant Coleman failed to comply with state law mandating a minimum of 5,000 signatures on the petition were from certified eligible voters.
On July 27, Coleman filed an objection that was taken up by the three-member State Objections Board. The board consists of Secretary of State Scott Schwab, Lt. Gov. David Toland and Attorney General Derek Schmidt. Toland and Schmidt sent replacements to serve as hearing officers.
Coleman sent a letter to the State Objections Board this week explaining why his petition ought to be recognized as valid. He asserted state law forbid rejection of what he referred to as his electronic signatures. However, Kansas statute mandates signatures be handwritten.
“Signatures waived only for R or D (Republican or Democrat) and lack of access to election government processes for crisis or disability are discrimination,” Coleman’s disjointed appeal letter said.
He wrote the secretary of state’s office hadn’t considered COVID-19, monkeypox and other illnesses could be spread during examination of his petition.
Here is how Coleman put it: “Disregard for Covid/Monkeypox — Saudi Fistbump, candidacy signatures, interaction, etc. — crisis and issues bringing spread and death risks are accountable.”
The board voted unanimously and without debate to affirm the secretary of state office’s rejection of the petititon submitted by Coleman. That left the U.S. Senate ballot to include Republican Jerry Moran, Democrat Mark Holland and Libertarian David Graham.
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