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Winner of Lucas council seat is not a US citizen

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POSTED April 5, 2013 9:19 p.m.



LUCAS, Kan. (AP) — The winner of a city council seat in a small north central Kansas town apparently won't be able to take office — at least until he becomes a U.S. citizen.

Adam Baker, 32, is a British immigrant living in Lucas, a town of about 500 people in Russell County.

Although he told fellow Lucas residents about his citizenship status, 62 people wrote in his name on Tuesday's ballot for the city council, giving him three more votes than the incumbent, The Salina Journal reported.

"I said, 'You can do what you want. It's a free country.' I don't know if I'm even allowed to (serve) or not, because of my status," Baker said.

The Russell County commissioners will discuss the issue while canvassing votes next Monday. To be elected, a person must be 18 or older, live in the voting area and be a "qualified elector," said Kay Curtis, a spokeswoman at the Kansas Secretary of State's office in Topeka.

Russell County Clerk Mary Nuss said Baker also isn't a registered voter.

"Being a registered voter is the most common way that the qualification is documented," she said.

Baker, who owns Baker Transportation, has lived in Lucas for 12 years. He said he's applied for citizenship but has waited two years for it to be approved.

"My immigration attorney said I'm just waiting on a piece of paper to pledge allegiance, and that's it," Baker said.

Russell County attorney Dan Krug said if Baker isn't a citizen, "there's no way he could be a qualified elector."

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