Election security is focus

By St. John News

Keeping elections valid is the driving force behind the campaign of Secretary of State candidate Dennis Taylor, Republican from Topeka. Taylor made a stop in the area on Friday, July 6 to share his story.

Taylor has three areas he calls his A, B, Cs for elections. A-audit elections; B-back up votes with voter-verified paper ballots statewide; C-constantly verify systems security.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, non-citizens have voted in past elections. There could be thousands of non-citizens voting but without these measures in place, it would be hard to prove, Taylor said.

There should at least be a post-audit for elections to verify that elections are valid, Taylor said.

For a post-audit, paper ballots are necessary. If voting machines are used, there is no paper ballot and no way to verify, he said.

Verification is not a onetime thing. Verification will have to be a constant task for years to come. Having a validation system in place will help keep the people’s trust and that can lead to more people voting.

Registering to vote requires just a driver’s license. A previous proof of citizenship requirement was recently thrown out by a federal judge. The Kansas Legislature is working on a law concerning registration for voting, so the proof of citizenship requirement is in limbo for now.

“What’s the value of the law if we don’t verify it,” Taylor said.

But just passing a law doesn’t ensure trust in the system. There needs to be verification, Taylor said.

Portions of the election process that are online can be vulnerable to interference. Kansas needs to be proactive to protect the on-line portion of the voting system. Voters can register online in Kansas but ballots are not online.

Verifying elections and voters is one issue. Another voting issue is getting people to work polling stations on election day. In bigger population areas, it’s hard to get people to man the polling stations. It has gotten to the point that measures have been taken to find poll workers. It’s gotten so hard that there are ads in the Topeka paper for poll workers, Taylor said.

Changes in party affiliation are also an issue for voters. When changing party affiliation, people don’t understand the laws. There needs to be ongoing education so people don’t get frustrated and will register to vote.

“We continuously need to let people know how it works,” Taylor said.

Taylor has been married to his wife, Karen, for 27 years. They live in Topeka where he is currently the Director of Lawyer Referral Service.

With four weeks until the primary election on Aug. 7, candidates like Taylor are crisscrossing Kansas, sharing stories and viewpoints with voters.

This article provided by NewsEdge.