| RON THORNBURGH
Secretary of State
STATE OF KANSAS
|Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Stephanie Wing, Public Information Officer
Office of the Secretary of State
THORNBURGH DISAPPOINTED WITH GOVERNOR’S VETO
TOPEKA, KS- “I am greatly disappointed with the Governor’s veto of Senate bill 142. This legislation would have been an important step forward in election security and would have given county election officials the tools needed to adjust to federal election changes,” said Secretary Thornburgh.
Senate bill 142 would have allowed every Kansas county the opportunity to set up satellite advance voting sites. This option is currently available in only Johnson and Sedgwick counties.
“This year, a number of county election officials have consolidated polling places, due to the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The Governor had an opportunity to right this problem, but unfortunately chose partisan politics over greater election accessibility,” said Thornburgh.
In addition to satellite voting, SB 142 would have required anyone delivering another citizen’s advance ballot to identify themselves and sign an affidavit on the ballot’s envelope indicating that they had not tampered with the ballot or influenced the voter.
“Under the current system, we have no way of knowing who is handling advance ballots. This bill would have allowed a safeguard for those voters who decide to turn their ballot over to another party to know that their vote was counted, as they intended,” said Thornburgh.
Despite the setback, Secretary Thornburgh will continue to work with county election officials to keep Kansas elections secure, uniform, and accessible.
“As the state’s chief election official, election security is my top priority. We must do everything within our power to prevent voter fraud, while not compromising accessibility to the system. In spite of the Governor’s attempts, I will work to ensure that every vote cast in Kansas is a vote that is counted.”