WICHITA, Kan. - A university mathematician found something that didn't add up, and now she's suing the state of Kansas to make sure every vote counts.
Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson requested Sedgwick County release election records for the recent election.
This week, Secretary of State Kris Kobach asked a judge to block that request.
Clarkson said the election results in some counties, including Johnson County, are impossible to audit.
During a celebration for the 95th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Clarkson said, “If we’re not being counted accurately, we’re losing our right to vote without even being aware of it.”
The mathematician wanted to examine the voting tapes after something didn’t add up.
Clarkson explained, “I don’t understand why those patterns are there, the patterns are very definitely real. But we don’t know what’s causing them or why they’re there. They do fit what would be expected if election fraud is occurring, and that’s very concerning.”
In Sedgwick County, the voting tapes record every stroke a voter makes on the machine.
The Election Commissioner there said the tapes are 385 feet long and are stored in 42 boxes.
However, in Johnson County, voting is done primarily on electronic machines where there is no automatic paper trail.
They’re machines which Clarkson said can be easily hacked.
“They’re basically saying you don’t need to look at these paper records, we can just trust the machine,” remarked Clarkson.
This verification is something women at the 19th amendment celebration thought was important.
“This is something people should know either way. In fact, the research in other states shows that sometimes it’s democrats who win because of this inconsistency and sometimes it’s republicans, but we want an honest vote count,” said Kansas lobbyist Mary Ellen Conlee.
Kobach argued the records are not part of the open records act, and said they’re covered under the same issues from a previously rejected lawsuit.