Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
Dec. 15, 2019
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for HB2604 - Committee on Elections

Short Title

Secretary of state; posting precinct level election results; certain offices.

Minutes Content for Wed, Feb 14, 2018

Mike Heim, Revisor, provided a description of HB2604 - Secretary of state; posting precinct level election results; certain offices. 

Mr. Heim and Bryan Caskey, Director of Elections, Kansas Secretary of State's Office, answered questions from the Committee.

There were neither proponent nor opponent testimonies provided on HB2604.

Peter Karman, from Douglas County, having initiated this bill, provided neutral testimony on HB2604 (Attachment 1), clarifying that his comments were about the specificity of the language.  He discussed his experience in helping improve how the Federal Government implements the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at the national level and how documents are published on .gov websites and in helping improve people's lives with open data.  Mr. Karman outlined three areas of concern in the language of the bill: 1) there is no mention of national office election results, 2) as soon as practicable is highly subjective, and 3) how these data are published is just as important as publishing them at all.  He stated 1) both national and state elections are of interest to the people of Kansas, 2) it seemed reasonable and practicable to require public posting of precinct results within 30 days after the final canvass, and 3) printing tabular data from an Excel spreadsheet on paper, or publishing it as a PDF, dramatically reduces the usefulness of the results because the data can no longer be sorted, filtered, searched, or analyzed by a computer.  Mr. Karman stated that if data are to be open and transparent, they must be published in an open and transparent plain text format such as comma-separated value (CSV) format, which is not a proprietary format, can be read by any computer and any computer language, and is as simple to create from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet as a PDF.

Mr. Karman answered questions from the Committee, stating the fewer obstacles to accessibility of the data the better.

Mr. Caskey answered questions from the Committee, stating the Secretary of State is aware of the bill and does not oppose it. 

There were more comments and questions from the Committee for Mr. Caskey.

Representative Esau, Chair, closed the hearing on HB2604.