A Wichita mathematician who found statistical anomalies in 2014 election counts will dispute efforts by election officials to block her request to audit voting machine results because all voters should be sure that their votes will count, her lawyer said Wednesday. Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson filed an open records lawsuit in February 2015 in her personal quest to find the answer to an unexplained pattern that transcends elections and states. She wants the voting machine tapes so she can establish a statistical model by checking the error rate on electronic voting machines used at a Sedgwick County voting station during the November 2014 general election. Sedgwick County officials filed a motion earlier this month asking Sedgwick County District Court to summarily dismiss her lawsuit. Judge William Woolley will hear arguments Feb. 18. The case is set for trial on March 22.
Attorney Randall Rathbun said he initially took the case because he felt Clarkson didn’t stand a chance without legal representation. “Once I got involved in the case, it became clear to me that there are some critical issues here, because when we cast our vote we have to be sure that it is going to count,” Rathbun said.
Defense attorney Michael North argued in his filing that the county is prohibited from releasing the voting machine tapes because they are not subject to open records laws. He says the issue was settled in a 2013 lawsuit that Clarkson lost when she sought similar materials from the 2010 general election.