KANSAS -- If one single axiom of the American justice system is correct, the wheels of justice turn very, very slowly.
Dr. Beth Clarkson, the statistician and engineer at Wichita State University who is challenging the state in court for a full audit of the votes in the 2014 election, updated her newsletter on August 23, yet more interesting news continues to develop as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach finally defends his stance.
At issue is the fact that there are numerous circumstantial issues that allude to voter machine tampering, including a statistical analysis done by Dr. Clarkson that goes against most common knowledge of how elections work.
As Dr. Clarkson says, "We already have a smoking gun, now we need to do some forensic analysis to see what it all means."
Kobach, in a faxed statement to the courts on August 21, stated that the voting records are not under the Kansas open records laws and that he is not the custodian of the records, instead each local county official is responsible for them.
In Sedgwick County, one of the most populous counties in Kansas, Tabitha Lehman told the courts that it would be "unnecessarily burdensome" to copy the records, as each voting record takes up about 27 inches of tape on continuous roles.
This seems to becoming a circular argument:
- We have backups in case there are any unforeseen problems; but
- Those backups are totally off-limits to all except a very few powerful individuals who are often motivated by political gain themselves; all while
- Hiding behind the fact that it would be too hard to actually audit the election even when unforeseen problems happened -- the paper trail is too big.
At what point would an unforeseen issue become large enough that they'd break open the records?
This is not check-and-balance government or transparency. You actually have to be able to use the tools at your disposal to be able to claim such a lofty status.
This would not be nearly as hypocritical if it weren't for the fact that Kris Kobach was recently granted prosecutorial power to seek out and prosecute voter fraud cases, which so far haven't amounted to too much more than Alzheimer patients double voting.
Kobach is more interested in 100 alleged cases of voter fraud, as opposed to possibly thousands of cases that this lawsuit might reveal.
So while we wait, the precise paper backups sit in 42 boxes, stored on 385 foot-long paper rolls, waiting for the day when dust can be blown off them and a full audit can be completed.