Lawsuit over possible voting machine “anomalies” in Sedgwick County moves forward

WICHITA, Kansas – There is now a trial date set to get voting results tested in Sedgwick County.

Local Certified Quality Engineer Beth Clarkson is suing Sedgwick County Elections Commissioner, Tabitha Lehman. Clarkson wants to find out if there could be election fraud in Sedgwick County. Or, possible problems with the electronic voting machines.

“I’m really concerned that our voting system has been undermined by these voting machines,” says Clarkson. “And I think we’ve got to do something about it if that’s the case.”

Clarkson wants an anonymous sample of the paper tapes that tabulate elections results. She says there are statistical anomalies with the electronic voting machines.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach was part of the lawsuit. But at a hearing before a judge on Monday, Kobach was dropped from the lawsuit.

Attorney Randy Rathbun is representing Clarkson in the lawsuit that was updated this week. Rathbun says Elections Commissioner Lehman is the proper entity to sue to get access to a sampling of paper tapes that tabulate results. In Sedgwick County, there is a paper trail kept in conjunction with the electronic machines that tabulate results.

“Why did I get involved? It was an easy decision for me,” says Rathbun. “I think when we go to bed on election night and I don’t care what party you’re in, we just feel like we have to have confidence that the voting machines are actually printing out what actually happened,” says Rathbun. “And so, to me, it was clearly a matter of transparency.”

District Judge Douglas Roth heard from Rathbun and Lehman’s attorney Michael North Monday morning.

Roth set a bench trial date for March 22nd.

Clarkson says she has a lot of experience with audits, and says she only needs an anonymous sampling to see if there are questions surrounding the 2014 elections.

“Well, I checked  out the math,” says Clarkson. “And so the math, basically the statistics, read as if someone is manipulating our voting system and I find that very disturbing.”

KSN reached out to Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

“The legislature of Kansas should consider making laws to have audits. I’m a believer in that,” says Kobach. “And I am a firm believer in the rule of law. And the law says that under these circumstances we can’t release these records. And we can’t release the ballots. And the law is crystal clear on this.”

Kobach says he’s asked the state to block the release of voting records in the past for Clarkson’s request.

“So as much as I might like to help this researcher do her research, we have to follow the law,” said Kobach.


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