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LAWRENCE, Kan. — In November, Kansas voters will choose whether or not to amend the state constitution to require the election of sheriff’s in each county.

The proposed amendment received two-thirds votes in both the Kansas House and Senate and will now be in the hands of Kansas voters.

A “yes” vote would require every county that has not abolished its sheriff’s office as of January 2022 to require elections for sheriff to a four-year term. It would also allow a sheriff to be recalled or removed from office by the attorney general.

A “no” vote would continue to allow counties to consolidate the sheriff’s office and police departments, as is the case in Riley County.

Riley County consolidated its sheriff’s office with the Manhattan and Ogden City police departments in 1974 and has the combined department answer to a board led by local officials. It’s the only Kansas county where residents don’t elect a sheriff.

But supporters of the proposed amendment said sheriffs should remain directly accountable to voters.

Douglas County Sherriff Jay Armbrister was sworn into his office on January 11, 2021, and offered support for the amendment.

“Throughout my career and in the more recent experience of being elected Douglas County Sheriff, I have seen the importance of the people having the opportunity to elect a law enforcement position that serves an entire county,” Armbrister said. “Especially as a way to provide input and feedback on policy and how a sheriff’s office should serve a community.”

Opponents to the amendment include Rep. Sydney Carlin (D-Manhattan) and Rep. Mike Dodson (R-Manhattan), both of whom reside in Riley County.

“If a county wishes to have a sheriff, that’s a great choice,” Dodson said. “Likewise, if a county wishes to consolidate, they should be able to do that.”

The constitutional amendment will be on the ballot in the Nov. 8 election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.