* The information provided below is compiled from various independent organizations working on election defense. US BASE cannot verify the accuracy of all data. Additionally we cannot vet every state or local organization working on election defense. 

 

Kansas Technology in Use
Verified Voting Foundation

* Note that "Paper Ballot" in the map below typically designates paper ballots counted by an electronic scanning device. 

Click for Verified Voting's interactive map

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Center for American Progress State by State Voting System Report

See State Grade Below
 

Report Excerpt:

"In August 2017, the Center for American Progress released a report entitled “9 Solutions for Securing America’s Elections,” laying out nine vulnerabilities in election infrastructure and solutions to help improve election security in time for the 2018 and 2020 elections. This report builds on that analysis to provide an overview of election security and preparedness in each state, looking specifically at state requirements and practices related to:

1. Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration systems
2. Voter-verified paper ballots
3. Post-election audits that test election results
4. Ballot accounting and reconciliation
5. Return of voted paper absentee ballots
6. Voting machine certification requirements
7. Pre-election logic and accuracy testing

This report provides an overview of state compliance with baseline standards to protect their elections from hacking and machine malfunction. Some experts may contend that additional standards, beyond those mentioned here, should be required of states to improve election security. The chief purpose of this report is to provide information on how states are faring in meeting even the minimum standards necessary to help secure their elections.

It is important to note at the outset that this report is not meant to be comprehen- sive of all practices that touch on issues of election security. We recognize that local jurisdictions sometimes have different or supplemental requirements and proce- dures from those required by the state. However, this report only considers state requirements reflected in statutes and regulations and does not include the more granular—and voluminous—information on more localized practices. Furthermore, this report does not address specific information technology (IT) requirements for voting machine hardware, software, or the design of pre-election testing ballots and system programming. And while we consider some minimum cybersecurity best practices, we do not analyze specific cyberinfrastructure or system programming requirements. These technical standards and protocols deserve analysis by computer scientists and IT professionals who have the necessary expertise to adequately assess the sufficiency of state requirements in those specialized areas."

Kansas: F/D

Kansas adheres to a number of minimum cybersecurity best practices related to voter registration systems, but the state allows voting using machines that do not provide a paper record and fails to mandate post-election audits, which does not provide confirmation that ballots are cast as the voter intends and counted as cast. Kansas also allows voters stationed or living overseas to return voted ballots electronically, a practice that election security experts say is notoriously insecure. Its ballot accounting and reconciliation procedures also need improvement. The state did earn points for requiring that all voting machines be tested to EAC Voluntary Voting System Guidelines before being used in the state, and for requiring election officials to carry out logic and accuracy testing on all voting machines before an election.

Despite numerous attempts to speak to someone in state government about the cybersecurity standards for the state’s voter registration system, state officials did not respond to our requests for information or comment, and we were unable to locate all of the information independently. If Kansas is adhering to all of the minimum cybersecurity best practices for voter registration systems, it would receive a “good” score—worth 3 points—for that category, bringing its grade up to a D.

Kansas’s reliance on machines that do not provide a paper record, coupled with its failure to carry out post-election audits even in jurisdictions with voter-verified paper trails, leaves the state open to undetected hacking and other Election Day problems. Going forward, Kansas should switch to a statewide paper-based voting system that can be audited through robust procedures that test the accuracy of election outcomes. In doing so, the state should look to risk-limiting audits like those in Colorado as a potential model. To improve its overall election security, Kansas should require that electronic poll books receive pre-election testing to ensure that they are in good working order before Election Day. The state would also be wise to partner with DHS to identify and assess vulnerabilities in its voter registration system, if it’s not doing so already. While recognizing the importance of state autonomy when it comes to elections, federal agencies with Kansas receives a F/D* 83 Center for American Progress | Election Security in All 50 States expertise in cybersecurity and access to classified information on contemporaneous cyberthreats have the personnel and resources necessary to thoroughly probe and analyze complex election databases, machines, and cyber-vulnerabilities. By combining their expertise on cyberthreats and their insight into the unique qualities of localized election infrastructure, state and federal officials can better assess and deter attempts at electoral disruption. Kansas should also prohibit electronic absentee voting and instead require that all voted ballots be returned by mail or in person. Regarding ballot accounting and reconciliation, all ballots—used, unused, and spoiled—must be accounted for at individual polling places.

Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration system: Incomplete

*State officials did not respond to our requests for information and comment on cybersecurity requirements for the state’s voter registration system. Information gathered for this section derives from independent research.

  • The state’s voter registration system is estimated to be at least 10 years old.

  • The state’s voter registration system provides access control to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the database.

  • The state’s voter registration system has logging capabilities to track modifications to the database.

  • The state’s voter registration system includes an intrusion detection system that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic for irregularities.

  • The state performs regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing on its voter registration system.

  • The state has engaged in conference calls with DHS regarding election security matters, but it is unclear whether the state has enlisted DHS’s help in monitoring its voter registration system.

  • State officials were unable to provide us with information on whether the state provides cybersecurity training to election officials.

  • Electronic poll books are used by some, but not all, jurisdictions in the state. Pre-election testing of electronic poll books is left up to the counties that use them. Paper voter registration lists are available at polling places that use electronic poll books on Election Day.


Voter-verified paper audit trail: Unsatisfactory

  • Depending on the jurisdiction, some voters in Kansas cast paper ballots, while others vote using DRE machines.599 Some DRE voting machines in the state produce a VVPR, while others are entirely paperless.


Post-election audits: Unsatisfactory

  • State law does not require post-election audits.


Ballot accounting and reconciliation: Unsatisfactory

  • Ballots are not fully accounted for at the precinct level.

  • Precincts are required to compare and reconcile the number of ballots with the number of voters who signed in at the polling place.

  • Counties are required to compare and reconcile precinct totals with countywide results to ensure that they add up to the correct amount.

  • There is no statutorily mandated review process to ensure that all voting machine memory cards or flash drives have been properly loaded onto the tally serve at the county level.

  • While election results are made public, it is unclear whether the same is true of information regarding ballot reconciliation processes and results.

Paper absentee ballots: Unsatisfactory

  • The state permits UOCAVA voters to submit completed ballots electronically, via email or fax.

Voting machine certification requirements: Fair

  • Before being purchased and used for an election, all voting machines must be shown to meet or exceed federal voting system standards.

  • Some jurisdictions in the state likely still use voting machines that were purchased more than a decade ago.

Pre-election logic and accuracy testing: Fair

  • Election officials conduct mandatory logic and accuracy testing on all voting machines prior to an election.

  • Testing is open to the public.

  • Testing occurs at least five days before an election.






 

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