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Kansas wants you to know that they are really really concerned about election fraud. After all, they want to make sure that only the white right people vote.

If you have been following along, Kansas first passed a law requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. But federal law requires states to accept the federal voter registration form for federal elections, and the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot require proof of citizenship to vote using the federal form.

Kansas weaseled around this requirement by accepting the federal form, but only for federal elections. If the voter wants to vote in state elections, then they have to use a separate form (which of course requires proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate).

Then things got hypocritical. Kansas filed a lawsuit claiming that their registration system with two different forms – the state one requiring proof of citizenship and the federal one not – which they themselves had created, was too complicated, and the federal government should allow them to require proof of citizenship for all elections. This went all the way to the Supreme Court, which turned them down.

Kansas then created a website that allows anyone (you don’t have to be a resident of Kansas, or even the US) to report incidents of voter fraud. The website has a long list of the kinds of voter fraud that anyone can report, except that it doesn’t have a way to report the only kind of voter fraud that has actually happened on a regular basis in Kansas. Like the time in 2010 when voters in Kansas received an automated phone call telling them that they needed proof of home ownership in order to vote, and then reminded them to vote — on the day after the actual election. Other similar schemes have used official looking forms that tell people where to vote, and send them to the wrong place.

But here’s the punchline. Not too long ago, mathematician Beth Clarkson at Wichita State University found significant evidence that actual vote results had been tampered with in the last state election. You could be excused if you thought the state would want to investigate this. Luckily for Clarkson, one county had voting machines that print a paper trail of the votes (without identifying the voter). These could easily be used to verify whether fraud had been committed, but the county (and state) blocked her. So she filed a lawsuit to allow her to conduct an audit. Under state law, election officials have 30 days to respond to such a lawsuit, but neither the county election commissioner nor the secretary of state responded, later saying that they weren’t aware that they had received any summons.

And that’s how Kansas protects the sanctity of the vote. Laws that make it harder for minorities to vote, they fight like crazy to enforce those. Actual and extremely likely widespread election fraud, they fight like crazy to avoid any investigation.



  1. Michael wrote:

    It’s several years old now, but I recommend the documentary Hacking Democracy if you get a chance. It primarily focuses on the work of Black Box Voting. The kicker at the end is a demo of an exploit to a Diebold machine that could not be detected. Pretty frightening stuff.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink
  2. John wrote:

    Kansas is an excellent object lesson to the rest of us in many ways, and we should be paying close attention.

    Friday, August 14, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink