Kansas political leader breaks law in effort to hide votes
the Kansas Court of Appeals has ruled that Kansas Secretary of State (the person in charge of voting) Scott Schwab violated state open-records law when he ordered a software vendor to disable the ability to produce a public record
the ruling is the latest victory for Davis Hammet, a voting rights advocate, in his three-year legal fight with Schwab, who works to educate and engage young adults and underrepresented communities on elections in Kansas. he has filed a series of requests for provisional ballot reports under the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) to help voters have their ballots counted, and to research the issue to better advise public officials about policies that impact voters
in an earlier lawsuit, Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson ordered Schwab to turn the information over to Hammet. corrupt Republican Secretary of State Schwab responded by criticizing the court and asking ES&S, the software vendor for the state’s election system, to disable the reporting feature. allowing this would allow all computer records of public information to become inaccessible through the simple manipulation of what the computer system is asked to do
KORA declares the state policy is that public records be open for inspection by any person, and that the policy “shall be liberally construed and applied.” That means agencies cannot conceal records
“This is a clear victory for government transparency and public records access,” said Josh Pierson, the senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Kansas who argued the appeal before the court. “It affirms what we’ve said all along - that Secretary Scott Schwab violated the law, and that government agencies should be working to make records more transparent, rather than less.”
the judge also declared that the secretary’s claim that he no longer can produce the provisional ballot record is “disingenuous”
“What can be turned off can be turned on. When the secretary directed ES&S to turn off the computer feature that generates the provisional ballot detail report - a report correctly declared to be a public record - he denied reasonable public access to that public record. That denial of public inspection of a public record violates the Kansas Open Records Act.”
the appeals court directed the district court to order Schwab to restore the reporting feature
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Republicans know they can only win elections by cheating
BREAKING NEWS: "Kansas voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment that would have gotten rid of abortion protections in the state's constitution.
Why it matters: It's the first time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that U.S. voters have cast ballots on abortion.
State of play: The amendment would have added language to the Kansas Constitution that said that "[b]ecause Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion."
Thought bubble: The race was one of the most watched in Tuesday’s primaries for the signals it may send about Republican and suburban women voters around abortion rights in key states in November, Axios managing politics editor Margaret Talev says.
Don't forget: Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia are the only four states that have amended their state constitutions to prohibit any protections for abortion rights."
Read the full piece here: https://www.axios.com/2022/08/03/kansas-abortion-ban-constitution-amendment
The resounding victory for abortion rights in Kansas offered some of the most concrete evidence yet that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has shifted the political landscape. Here's a look at how the rest of the U.S. may have voted on a similar ballot.