GEARY COUNTY (KSNT) – Kansans will vote on not one, but two constitutional amendments on Nov. 8, one of which focuses on changing how sheriff’s are moved and chosen.
Residents of Geary County gathered for a town hall meeting over the sheriff amendment on Wednesday night. The local sheriff’s office was present to give its perspective on the upcoming amendment vote.
“Myself as well as all the other sheriff’s I’ve spoken to were very excited when this started coming out,” said Daniel Jackson, Geary County Sheriff. “As well as the other employees in the sheriff’s office, because we think it’s a positive thing.”
Kansas Amendment two, also known as HCR 5022, comes down to who has the ability to move an elected sheriff out of office and whether local counties can choose if they want to have a sheriff at all. A ‘No’ vote means county leaders would have the power to get rid of their sheriff’s office altogether. A ‘Yes’ vote means counties wouldn’t be able to remove a sheriff from office, or merge their sheriff’s office with another law enforcement agency.
“That’s a yes vote,” said Jackson. “To me it’s an absolute no brainer for the voters, it’s about voter empowerment. It ensures that voters will continue forevermore to be able to vote for who their sheriff is, who their chief law enforcement officer is in every county.”
However, not everyone in attendance at the meeting agrees.
“Something that I think is really important is that our constitution whether it be United States or Kansas, is something we shouldn’t be changing often or very easily,” said Lisa Eickholt, Geary County resident.
Eickholt showed up at the meeting to learn more about the upcoming ballot measure. She said she isn’t opposed to the amendment, but hasn’t fully decided which bubble she’ll fill in.
“As our sheriff pointed out, maybe it’s a stepping stone or a start on making that home rule possible in the constitution, and making the other elected official positions better protected,” Eickholt said. “That really resonated with me as I think about this further and get ready to vote.”
With less than two weeks until election night, there’s still plenty of time to decide which way you’ll vote on the amendment.