Sedgwick County election commissioner failed first big test

Before the polls closed Tuesday, Secretary of State Kris Kobach seemed pleased with the primary and especially the first statewide test of the voter-ID law he advocated. “We have had good reaction all over the state,” he told the Kansas City Star. Too bad Kobach didn’t cap off his tour of polling places in Wyandotte, Johnson and Shawnee counties with a trip to Sedgwick County, which saw the slowest, most-confusing election night in memory. In the first big election for his appointee, Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman, her office initially sowed mass confusion by reporting advance-ballot totals as if they reflected the vast majority of the precincts, then inexplicably took more than four hours to deliver final numbers. During the day, there also were some glitches with the new electronic poll books, just as there had been in Wichita’s February special election. Kobach and Lehman need to ensure they are ready for the Nov. 6 turnout, which will be far bigger than Tuesday’s.