TOPEKA, KS – Kansas State Senator Richard Hilderbrand (R-13) says he will waste no time introducing an election fraud protection bill to the Kansas Senate once the 2021 session begins in January.
At issue is what election officials call DRE’s, or direct-recording electronic machines, which do not produce an individual paper record for each vote cast. Despite national criticism and legal action, the machines are still being used in some Kansas counties. Senator Hilderbrand’s bill would make the use of DRE’s illegal in Kansas.
“The fact that DRE’s are extremely vulnerable to fraud is not a question,” explains Hilderbrand, “Experts unilaterally agree they are bad practice, but Kansas is moving way too slowly in upgrading machines. Protecting our election process is understandably of the utmost importance to Kansas voters.”
A Kansas law passed in 2018 required any Kansas voting system purchased, leased or rented in the future to provide a paper record of each vote cast. However, the statute didn’t mandate upgrading existing DRE systems. Senator Hilderbrand’s bill would ensure Kansans would not experience an election doubting the validity of results based on vulnerable technology, which is happening now in other states.
“As I stated during a committee hearing on this topic last year, ‘If an electronic voting system is connected to the internet or has wireless connectivity technology, it can be hacked. Even machines not connected to the Internet are hackable through compromised memory cards used to set up the voting machine before each specific election or remote access software or a miscalibration of the DRE. If the results of an election with paper ballots is questioned, the election results can be verified by doing an audit or recount of the paper ballots. If the results of an election using electronic system without a paper trail is contested, you can only say, trust me the results are accurate.’ My testimony holds true today and given the controversy going on in other states, Kansas voters deserve to remain confident in our country’s most cherished democratic process,” Hilderbrand concluded.