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Security Initiative iconDid You Know?

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EVERY COUNTY HAS AN ELECTION OFFICIAL

In Kansas, county clerks manage elections across the state. In the four largest counties, an appointed election commissioner is responsible for administering the elections within the county. The election commissioner is appointed by the Kansas Secretary of state. The four counties with an election commissioner are Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee, and Wyandotte. In the remaining 101 counties, the elected county clerk serves as the county election officer.

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MACHINES THAT COUNT BALLOTS ARE NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET

In Kansas, counties have not connected voting machines to the Internet since 2006; however, this practice is not in statute. To further enhance election security, Secretary Schwab has proposed legislation to prohibit Kansas voting machines from being connected to the Internet.

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AS TECHNOLOGY EVOLVED SO DID ELECTIONS

Prior to technology enhancements, ballots were counted by hand. Although it seems simple, hand counting ballots is the method most susceptible to fraud, prone to inaccuracies, and very slow. Moreover, universal hand counting would require a substantially different process than what has been used in Kansas for decades. All Kansas counties now use tabulators to count ballots. Tabulators are not connected to the Internet. In fact, post-election audits are hand counted and compared to the tabulator count from election night. Also, tabulators are tested publicly immediately before the election and immediately after the election. The Secretary of State encourages the public to witness this process.

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EVERY BALLOT HAS A UNIQUE MARK ON IT

In Kansas, all ballots are required by law to have a unique mark or stamp located on the ballot. This designed symbol on the ballot verifies the ballot is official, provides an extra layer of security, and must be present for ballots to be counted in the tabulating machine.

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TABULATING EQUIPMENT HAS SECURITY TESTING BEFORE AND AFTER AN ELECTION - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

It is Kansas law that tabulating equipment must be tested before and after the election, known as “logic and accuracy testing.” Testing is open to the public to observe. The purpose of testing is to ensure the tabulating equipment is tabulating ballots properly. During the testing, both proper and improper ballots are submitted through the tabulator to ensure the counting is accurate. To observe this process, call your local county election office for more information.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ERRORS ARE NOT THE BASIS FOR OVERTURNING AN ELECTION

In Kansas, elections are administered at the county level. Every county has volunteer poll workers and election officials who administer the election for the county. These workers are human and administrative error can occur. However, administrative error is not fraud. The oldest election law in Kansas states that administrative errors are not the basis for overturning an election. (KSA 25-705, 25-716).

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VOTER ROLL MAINTENANCE IS ALWAYS NEEDED

Although it is easy to remove deceased people from the voter rolls due to information provided by the Office of Vital of Statistics, the Social Security Administration and obituaries, frequent movers can become difficult to track. The Secretary of State’s office compares the list of registered voters to the United States Postal Service address change list to identify people who have moved. A notice is sent to each person who appears on the address change list. If the notice is returned as undeliverable, federal law requires election offices wait up to four years before removing the person from the voter registration list. Secretary Schwab proposed a bill to the Kansas legislature to help improve voter roll maintenance in the state.

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KANSAS IS A SIGNATURE VERIFICATION STATE

To receive an official advance ballot by mail the voter must provide a copy of a government issued ID and the voter’s signature must be verified. A signature is verified when it matches the voter signature on file with the county election office. If the signature does not match, the applicant is contacted, and an updated signature is obtained prior to transmitting an advance ballot by mail. Once the advance ballot by mail is returned, the voter must sign the advance ballot envelope declaring the voter marked the ballot. If the signature does not match, the ballot is marked as provisional, and the county election office is required to contact the voter to verify the signature. During this process, a ballot can become cured*, or removed and flagged to the district attorney for fraud.

*A cured ballot means the concern has been resolved favorably and the ballot can be counted.

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KANSAS CONDUCTS AN AUDIT FOLLOWING EVERY ELECTION

Post-election audits took place for the first time in Kansas history in 2019 under Secretary Schwab’s administration. Kansas counties have conducted more than 300 post-election audits and every legal ballot has been accounted for. A post-election audit is conducted by a sworn and trained bi-partisan board and is open to the public. Post-election audits will take place following the 2022 elections. For more information on post-election audits in your county, please contact your county election officer HERE.

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YOU CAN REPORT VOTER FRAUD

If you witness suspicious activity related to a Kansas election, please notify our office HERE immediately.

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KANSAS REQUIRES VOTER ID

Whether you are voting by mail or in person, voter ID is required by statue KSA 25-2908. Kansas has had voter ID for over a decade. Voter ID helps prevent voter fraud by ensuring that every eligible voter has appeared in person to a government official and has had their identity verified prior to casting a ballot. It is the most fundamental tool to ensuring one vote equals one person.

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VOTING EQUIPMENT SYSTEMS ARE CERTIFIED

All 105 counties in Kansas use voting equipment systems that have been certified by national testing laboratories and by the Secretary of State.

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BALLOT HARVESTING IS ILLEGAL IN KANSAS

Dropping off and/or mailing mail ballot envelopes on behalf of multiple voters is sometimes known as “ballot harvesting” and the person carrying the ballots is sometimes called a “mule.” In Kansas, it is a crime for any one person to deliver more than 10 ballot envelopes and anyone carrying a mail ballot envelope for a voter must complete an affidavit on the ballot envelope. (KSA 25-2437). A violation of this law could result in a felony charge. The Secretary of State’s office encourages those who witness such a crime to report the evidence HERE.