With the voting processes in control of those who liked the results, I couldn’t see how this could go anywhere, and I chose not to comment because it seemed like it would only come across as sour grapes.
But this idea changed for me, and for many others across the state, when Wichita State mathematician Beth Clarkson shared the findings of her multi-year and multi-state statistical analysis. Now, in recent weeks, it seems like more and more people are coming forward to raise concerns about the election results. From the accounts of poll workers to the editorial boards of a number of newspapers (including the Wichita Eagle and Manhattan Mercury), it seems to have raised plenty of eyebrows from reasonable Kansans of all political stripes who just want to confirm that the outcomes were accurate. For me, these editorials made this a real issue and one that deserves serious action.
For now, it looks like we may be poised for yet another critical legal battle for our state: this time it will be over access to the paper records from the voting machines in Sedgwick County. With all the focus on preventing voter fraud in Kansas, an audit—allowing an independent expert to take a look at the paper tapes, which do not include the names of the voters—seems to be a reasonable request.
For the future, I was also fascinated to learn that Kansas is not among the 50% of states where post-election audits are required by state law. If Secretary Kobach’s goal has been to make it, “easy to vote but hard to cheat,” an extra check for accuracy would make a lot of sense. In the meantime, in regard to Secretary Kobach’s pledge, I fear that we may be going backwards on both fronts.
I don’t say any of this thinking the numbers or the results of the last election can realistically be changed. But to not push for and demand a serious look into how Kansas elections are run does an incredible injustice to all Kansans who believe that their vote counts and have a right to know that it is done so accurately. Surely as Kansans, going forward, we can agree on that.