Policy and Procedure for Obtaining Copies of or Access to Public Records Pursuant to the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) K.S.A. 45-215 et seq.
Under the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) you may obtain copies of or inspect public records kept by the Secretary of State, unless a specific statutory provision exempts them from disclosure or requires redaction.
The Secretary of State will send an initial response within three business days of receiving your request, acknowledging your request.
You may be charged a reasonable fee, not exceeding actual cost, for staff time and expenses in responding to your request. You will be given an estimate of the expense before work is done to respond to your request.
The Open Records Act does not require the Secretary of State to answer questions or prepare reports, only to make available existing records. Requests for records not yet in existence cannot be honored.
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, except official state holidays. Requests received after 5:00 p.m. will not be logged in and processed until the next business day.
Designated Records Custodian: Clayton L. Barker; General Counsel
Requesting Open Records
For your convenience, the Secretary of State’s office provides three ways to obtain access to its public records: (1) Records Access Request (RAR) or (2) Voter registration Data (CVR) or (3) Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) request.
(1) Records Access Request: Allows access to business records that are intended to be publicly available. You can choose which records from a menu of options, which include Resident Agents; Businesses (both For-Profit and Not-For-Profit); Charities; Notaries; and Lobbyists. To use this option, fill out and print this form: https://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/Elections/RAR.pdf. Sign your name certifying that you will not use the information for prohibited commercial purposes (K.S.A. 45-220(c)); submit to the Secretary of State’s Deputy of Business Services; and pay the appropriate fee (K.S.A. 45-218(f)). You will receive a response within a reasonable time.
(2) Voter Registration Data Request: Allows access to voter registration data. To use this option, fill out and submit this form: https://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/Elections/CVR.pdf.
(3) Kansas Open Records Access: Allows access open records maintained by the Secretary of State. To assure that the request is clearly understood, the agency requires requests for access to or copies of records be made in writing.
Open Records Requests to the Secretary of State may be mailed to the office or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All requests for records must state: (K.S.A. 45-219(b))
- The requesting person or organizations' name.
- Email or Mailing address to which the records are to be sent.
- • Enough information about the requested records so the staff can determine if the requested records exist and are in the agency’s possession.
- Include this Certification(K.S.A. 45-220(c)): "I certify that I do not intend to, and will not: (A) Use any list of names or addresses contained in or derived from the records or information for the purpose of selling or offering for sale any property or service to any person listed or to any person who resides at any address listed; or (B) sell, give or otherwise make available to any person any list of names or addresses contained in or derived from the records or information for the purpose of allowing that person to sell or offer for sale any property or service to any person listed or to any person who resides at any address listed."" Or similar wording.
Requests for Database Records
The Office of the Secretary of State will be the sole judge of its capability to comply with any request for specific data stored on and to be produced from a database. For security reasons no direct access to or inspection of the voter or business services databases is possible.
Format of Record Copies
The Office of the Secretary of State will provide copies of requested records and will be the sole judge of whether it will accommodate requests that the copies produced be in specific formats.
The Office of the Secretary of State will act upon requests as soon as possible, with an initial response being made to the requestor no later than the third business day following the receipt of the request. Supplemental responses will be sent as needed.
In certain circumstances involving personal records, the Office of the Secretary of State may require verification of the requestor’s identity.
Fees (K.S.A. 45-219(c))
The Secretary reserves the discretion to not charge a fee for small or infrequent requests. If fees are charged, the following rates shall apply:
- Copies: $0.25 per page for paper copies, $0.125 per page for electronic copies
- Mailing: $0.50 for first 5 pages, $0.25 for additional 5-page increments for paper copies
- Staff Time will be charged at the rate of pay for each person(s) whose time is used to assist and/or respond to a specific request. This may include the time spent to access records maintained on computer facilities, as well as record and review and redaction records. For most requests time will be charged as follows:
- Clerical time will be charged at $21 per hour;
- Attorney time will be charged at $52 per hour;
- Information Technology (IT) services will be charged at $42 per hour; and
- Time for other classifications of employees will be charged based upon actual costs.
- Additional fees, including any other costs incurred by the agency in connection with complying with a record request may be assessed to the requestor, including fees charged to our office by third parties in order to access records.
Advance Payment of Fees Required
The agency will provide the requestor with an estimate of the fees before gathering and processing or providing access to the records. The estimated fees MUST be paid BEFORE the agency processes the request or provides access to the requested records.
If the records can be produced for less than the estimated amount, additional amounts will be refunded.
If we discover that the estimated fee is too low, we will promptly advise the requestor of any correction to the fee and request advance payment of any additional costs before continuing the work.
Payment may be made by check or money order payable to the Office of the Secretary of State. Returned checks will incur an additional fee of $30.00.
If express delivery is requested, the requestor MUST arrange for pick up and packaging of the records; all associated costs for such delivery MUST be paid by the requestor.
The agency records custodian has sole discretion as to whether to honor requests for express delivery.