TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas plans to hold a presidential primary in March 2024 rather than leave it to political parties to decide whether they want to have more exclusive caucuses or state conventions instead.
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday signed a bill into law that schedules the election for March 19, 2024, for the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties. The measure had bipartisan support when the Republican-controlled Legislature approved it this month.
County officials will oversee the voting and the state is likely to cover the costs, which could be several million dollars. Far more voters are expected to participate than the tens of thousands who usually do in caucuses or the dozens who would attend a party convention.
The new law does not schedule presidential primaries after 2024, however.
Kansas last held a state presidential primary in 1992, and about 373,000 voters participated. In canceling later primaries, legislators often cited the potential cost and left it to the parties to decide what to do, at their own expense.
In 2020, Democrats funded and ran their own primary by mail ballot only, while Republican leaders committed to supporting then-President Donald Trump without a vote or any caucuses.