Opinion Columns & Blogs

What good is voting paper trail if it’s secret?

The legal filings in response to Beth Clarkson’s lawsuit argue that state law won’t permit her to see the paper records for Sedgwick County’s voting machines and, besides, complying would be too cumbersome. Clarkson, whose day job is as chief statistician at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research, wants to research statistical anomalies “indicative of vote manipulation in machines” using their paper records, which don’t identify voters. The court may side with Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman over Clarkson, as it did in 2013. But if Kansas law does in fact deny the public the ability to access and scrutinize the paper trail of voting machines, the hard copies seem pointless and the law should be changed. – Rhonda Holman