The Sedgwick County Commission is seeking state approval to do voting machine audits regularly. The commission is working to get legislation passed in 2018 that will allow audits of election results. Currently, the state of Kansas does not allow a review of ballots, except as it relates to specific election challenges. Lawmakers failed to pass a bill on election audits last year. Commissioner Jim Howell says there is broad support for the legislation for the upcoming 2018 session. He says Sedgwick County’s new voting machines are designed for audits. “We would like to do random sample auditing across our county, and that would add a lot of transparency and a lot of confidence in our election process, and right now we don’t have that,” Howell says.
He says that until now, judges have ruled that audits could potentially identify specific electors’ choices, and therefore the paper trail couldn’t be legally audited.
Sedgwick County spent about $6 million this year to upgrade its 15-year-old voting equipment. The new machines were used for smaller elections earlier this year, and will be used in the city and school elections in November.