Starting next year, Kansas counties are required to do post-election audits. The check will make sure the voting process — from equipment to office procedures — is done correctly, and the election results are accurate. According to legislation approved earlier this year, a county election board will review at least one contested race on federal, state and county levels. According to legislation approved earlier this year, a county election board will review at least one contested race on federal, state and county levels. The audit will be a hand recount of paper ballots, regardless of the method of voting, in one percent of randomly selected voting districts in each county.
“We won’t know what precincts will be audited until after the election results have been posted, which is the right way to do that,” says Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman.
Sedgwick County spent about $6 million last year to upgrade its 15-year-old voting equipment. The new machines in Sedgwick County and other large counties in Kansas have features to ensure privacy is protected and every vote counts. The electronic voting machines are designed to be audited because they print a paper ballot.
Lehman says her office tested the new voting machines with two recounts this year. The most recent was a hand recount of the Republican primary for the 4th District Sedgwick County Commission race in August.