TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is close to winning legislative approval for new power for his office to investigate and prosecute election fraud cases.
Kobach said Friday he's optimistic lawmakers will approve the bill when they reconvene next week to wrap up their business for the year.
The House and Senate have approved different versions of Kobach's bill, setting up negotiations over the final version. Lead House negotiator Lance Kinzer said Kobach's proposal is on track to pass.
Under current law, Kobach's office can collect reports of election irregularities but must turn them over to county, state or federal prosecutors to pursue. Kobach argues those officials are often too busy with other cases.
Democrats still have misgivings about the Republican secretary of state's proposal.