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Crime and Courts

WSU Statistician Files Lawsuit Seeking Voting Machine Paper Tapes

Fairfax County, flickr Creative Commons

A Wichita State University mathematician has filed an open records lawsuit seeking the paper tapes from electronic voting machines in Kansas.  

She hopes they will explain statistical anomalies in election returns.

Beth Clarkson is chief statistician for the National Institute for Aviation Research and holds a Ph.D. in statistics.

She sued Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Sedgwick County Elections Commissioner Tabitha Lehman yesterday, and is seeking a court order allowing her to audit the machines.

Clarkson has analyzed election returns in Kansas and elsewhere showing an unexplained pattern where the percentage of Republican votes increase the larger the size of the precinct.

The pattern could be voter fraud or a demographic trend. She wants the hard-copy records to check the error rate on electronic voting machines.

Kobach's office has declined comment.