| RON THORNBURGH
Secretary of State
STATE OF KANSAS
|Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Stephanie Meyer, Public Information Officer
Office of the Secretary of State
THORNBURGH RELEASES STUDY GROUP REPORT
TOPEKA, KS – Today, Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh released the findings of his study group on the future of Kansas elections.
ON THE FUTURE OF ELECTIONS IN KANSAS
The study looked at the state’s current voting processes and explored what significant changes could be made in the way Kansas elections are conducted in the future. Thornburgh convened the group, made up of a variety of election administrators, academics, political party representatives and disability advocates, last year. Professor Paul Gronke of Reed College in Oregon, a national expert on convenience voting, also participated in the three-part sessions.
Members examined the concepts of vote by mail, vote centers, expanding advance voting, telephone voting, Internet voting and simply maintaining the status quo. From its discussions, the group produced a set of five guiding principles that should be considered any time a new method of voting is proposed: participation, accuracy, security, access and equity.
“I commend the members of the group for their thoughtful, diligent inspection of the host of options. It is critical to the long-term success of our elections process that we continue to look for new and innovative ways to reach our voters, without compromising the security and integrity of the system,” said Thornburgh.
While the group found merit with each suggestion, ultimately, they felt that it was unlikely that any single option would be the best. Rather, they concluded that a hybrid made up of a few or several of the suggested changes would best serve the greatest number of people.
“Over the last 15 years, my office has consistently worked to expand the opportunities for voters to register and participate. Kansas has an orderly election system based on sound laws, and while one clear path did not emerge from the discussions, I am confident that the group’s work will prove valuable in the years to come, as the elections process continues to evolve,” said Thornburgh.
Click here to view the full report.