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KANSAS LEGISLATURE PASSES BILL TO STRENGTHEN ELECTION INTEGRITY IN KANSAS

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

TOPEKA – Secretary of State Scott Schwab commended passage of HB 2138 by the Kansas Legislature earlier today. The bill contains important election security enhancements for the state of Kansas, including several measures that Secretary Schwab proposed as part of his legislative agenda earlier this year. HB 2138 is one of the most significant election reform measures to be passed in recent Kansas history. The bill includes:

Election Equipment Security—will provide additional security measures by prohibiting counties from using voting equipment that has the capability of being connected to the internet; requires the Secretary of State to certify electronic pollbooks; and establishes a deadline for counties to perform post-election tabulator tests.

Additional Audits—will increase election process transparency by including a close election audit; a procedural audit; and requires precinct initial vote totals to be publicly available on election night.

Voter Roll Maintenance—will help ensure the accuracy of voter rolls by providing an additional process for a county election official to remove voters who have moved from the voter rolls. If a voter has had no election activity for four years, and an address confirmation notice is returned “undeliverable,” and then the voter has no election-related activity for an additional two federal election cycles, the voter may be removed from the rolls.

Ballot Watermark—will provide an addition layer of security and verification of ballots by requiring counties to use ballot paper with a unique watermark.

Chain of Custody—will provide detailed information of each ballot and its security. A statewide standard will be established for chain of custody procedures when transferring ballots.

“Election integrity is essential and must constantly be reviewed, I will always be an advocate for strong election laws. This bill is an important step to further strengthen our current election system to continue ensuring that in Kansas, one vote equals one person,” said Schwab.

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