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Kan. House backs change on circulating petitions

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas is closer to ending a constitutionally questionable ban on out-of-state residents circulating petitions to put candidates on the ballot or gain recognition for political parties.

The state House approved a bill Monday to repeal the prohibition. The 118-1 vote sends the measure to the Senate.

The bill results from a federal lawsuit filed in 2010 by the Constitution Party. The state hasn't enforced its ban since, acknowledging that it likely violates rights to freedom of speech and association.

The Constitution Party isn't recognized in Kansas. Voters can't list themselves as being affiliated with it when they register, and the party can't list candidates on the November general election ballot.

Kansas allows people to circulate petitions to get a party recognized, but previously has banned non-Kansans from circulating them.