New law strengthens Kansas election security

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Secretary of State Scott Schwab commended the signing of election security legislation that he proposed earlier this year. The bill is one of the most significant election reform measures since Kansas adopted Voter ID in 2011. It will further strengthen state election law and provide voters with additional assurances regarding the security and integrity of Kansas elections. The bill makes the following improvements to the states already rigorous election laws:

Election Equipment Security: Prohibits counties from using voting equipment that has the capability of being connected to the internet, requires the Secretary of State to certify electronic pollbooks, and establishes a deadline for counties to perform post-election tabulator tests. This provision will strengthen the cybersecurity of critical election equipment.

Additional Audits: Increases election process transparency by including a close race audit, a procedural audit, and requires precinct initial vote totals to be publicly available on election night. This measure will allow further verification of election results.

Voter Roll Maintenance: Provides an additional process for a county election official to remove Kansas voters who have moved from the voter rolls. For example, the voter may be removed from the voter rolls if the voter has had no election-related activity for four years, an address confirmation notice is returned “undeliverable,” and the voter has no election-related activity for an additional two federal election cycles. This will further improve the accuracy of voter rolls.

Ballot Watermark: Requires counties to use ballot paper with a watermark. This will provide an additional layer of security and verification for all ballots cast.

Chain of Custody: A statewide standard will be established for chain of custody procedures when transferring ballots. This provides the counties with detailed information of each ballot and its security.

“This bill is a significant reform effort that will further strengthen the security of Kansas elections. As Kansas Secretary of State, I will continue to advocate for strong election laws so voters can be assured that in Kansas, one vote equals one person,” Schwab said.

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