There's no Democratic Senate candidate listed on some 500 Kansas ballots mailed to overseas voters this weekend – a setback for Republican Sen. Pat Roberts' effort to retain his seat, reports said Friday.
A federal deadline forced Kansas' Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach to ship the ballots out by Saturday, appearing to end a strange saga triggered when Democratic nominee Chad Taylor withdrew from the race – pushed by party members to help independent candidate Greg Orman's shot at beating Roberts, according to the Associated Press.
The latest Rasmussen poll
shows Orman leading Roberts by 5 percentage points.
The Kansas Supreme Cour
t ruled earlier in the week in favor of Taylor's withdrawal, which the Republican Kobach had blocked.
But when Democrats took no steps to put another name on the ballot, Kobach had to meet the federal deadline and mail out the ballots, The Hill noted.
Still, the issue isn't settled yet, The Hill reports. Kobach wants county election officials not to open any ballots returned by voters overseas while a challenge is heard in court.
"Depending on the outcome of this litigation... it is possible that there will be a recertification of the list of candidates," Kobach wrote, according to a letter
posted by The Hill.
"Our intent is to recertify the list of candidates if the Supreme Court orders the Democratic Party to name a replacement nominee or if the Democratic Party otherwise names a replacement nominee as it is required to do under Kansas law."
Republicans must win six seats to take control of the Senate, and losing a seat they already hold would be a blow, Roll Call notes.
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