KCUR News
1:15 am
Fri June 23, 2006

Study Calls Kansas Electronic Voting "High Risk"

Kansas City, MO – A national voter advocacy organization yesterday ranked Kansas' electronic voting system as high risk for election errors. The same study gave Missouri a slightly better medium risk.

Barbara Burt, an author of the Common Cause study, says most Kansas electronic voting systems, including the one in use in Johnson County, don't have hard-copy paper backups of the computer ballots.

Burt:
"In case the machine just completely blows up If you've got that paper record, you can go back and count the paper ballots. Without that those votes are just lost."

Johnson County Election Commissioner Brian Newby says he is satisfied with the system that produces a backup to a second hard drive, and willing to add paper backup, but there is a cost issue.

Newby:
"To retrofit our machines would probably be about a million dollars. That would have to come out of some taxing authority."

The money would have to come from the state or county because there are no federal funds for paper backup systems. Missouri fared a little better, having a paper backup but, like Kansas, having no post-election automatic audits.