Jamie Clover Adams

Attorney General of Kansas — Opinion
December 18, 2001

Re: Agriculture — Grain Commodity Commissions — Creation of Kansas Corn Commission, Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, Kansas Soybean Commission and Kansas Wheat Commission; Membership; Election Process; Write-in Candidates; Vacancies

Synopsis: Write-in votes are valid where such votes are permitted under the law. Because the grain commodity commission’s statute is silent regarding write-in candidates, such votes are not permitted. Vacancies that may occur on a grain commodity commission for any reason should be filled by appointment of the remaining commissioners. Cited herein: K.S.A. 2000 Supp. 2-3002.

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Carla J. Stovall, Attorney General of Kansas

Jamie Clover Adams Secretary of Agriculture Kansas Department of Agriculture 109 S.W. 9th Street Topeka, Kansas 66612-1280

Dear Secretary Adams:

As Secretary of Agriculture you ask whether K.S.A. 2000 Supp. 2-3002, which articulates the process for having a candidate’s name placed on the ballot for a grain commodity commissioner, permits write-in candidates. Subsection (b)(3) of K.S.A. 2000 Supp. 2-3002 provides:

“Any person meeting the qualifications to serve as a commissioner may appear on the election ballot for their respective commission district by submitting a petition to be placed on the ballot on or before October 31 in the year immediately preceding the election. The petition shall contain the signatures of 20 eligible voters of that commodity commission election to be a valid petition. However, no more than five petition signatures shall be used to qualify any candidate from any one county.”

Write-in votes are valid “where such votes are permitted under the law.”[1] Since K.S.A. 2000 Supp. 2-3002(b)(3) is silent regarding write-in candidates, write-in candidates for grain commodity commissioners are not permitted.

You also ask how a vacancy may be filled in districts that have no official candidates. The answer to your question is supplied by subsection (h) of K.S.A. 2-3002 which states:

“Vacancies which may occur shall be filled for unexpired terms by appointment by the remaining commissioners.”

In our opinion a vacancy that occurs by virtue of an absence of a candidate for a particular district is no different from a vacancy occurring for any other reason and should be filled by appointment of the remaining commissioners.

Very truly yours,

CARLA J. STOVALL Attorney General of Kansas
Camille Nohe Assistant Attorney General

CJS:JLM:CN:jm

[1] State ex rel. Graybill v. Tipton, 166 Kan. 145, Syl. ¶ 2 (1948).