Secretary Kobach announced before the House Elections Committee today that his office has filed six voter fraud prosecutions since July 2015 when his office was granted prosecutorial authority to prosecute election crimes, pursuant to a law enacted by the Kansas Legislature during the 2015 legislative session. The prosecutions have been conducted utilizing existing resources and without hiring additional staff. Of the six cases filed, the Kansas Secretary of State has already obtained one conviction through a guilty plea; the other five are ongoing.
To further ensure the integrity of Kansas elections the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office has drafted and introduced a bill that would require post-election audits for all elections, starting July 1, 2017.
The bill would require a percentage of precincts or a percentage of districts to be manually audited after Election Day and prior to the meeting of the county board of canvassers. The audit will be conducted by a bi-partisan election board in a public setting which may be attended by authorized poll agents. It also will give the Secretary of State the authority to adopt rules and regulations governing the conduct and procedure of the audit. The Secretary of State will work with a group of county election officers prior to the adoption of rules and regulations. Secretary Kobach supports the auditing of election equipment and believes this bill will improve citizens’ confidence in the elections process.
Secretary Kobach stated: “Last year some individuals and some editorial pages demanded that my office allow private parties to audit election equipment, despite the fact that Kansas law clearly prohibited such audits. While I support auditing our election equipment, no personal policy preference entitles an executive official to override the law. I am therefore now proposing a Post-Election Audit Bill (RS 2898) to require post-election auditing of our voting equipment in all 105 counties. I am hopeful that the Legislature will concur and make this amendment to our laws.”