Kansas elections chief's security plan causes local unease

February 18, 2020 - 5:48 am
Kansas elections chief's security plan causes local unease

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Kansas' elections chief is pushing to make the state's central voter registration database more secure by changing how counties tap into it, but some officials are nervous about what they see as a big project in a busy election year.

Secretary of State Scott Schwab has told county election officials that he wants them to use dedicated tablets, laptops or computers not linked to their counties' networks to access the state's voter registration database. He says Kansas is getting $8 million in federal election security funds that could be used to cover the costs.

Schwab contends such a setup will decrease the likelihood of foreign nationals, foreign governments or domestic hackers gaining access to voter registration records. His idea has bipartisan support. Kansas 

Still, even some county election officials who agree that Schwab's initiative would make voter registration records more secure see it as a huge undertaking, incorporating the different computer and voting systems of 105 counties.

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