7 things you should know about the election canvass

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 7:52 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab says Kansas counties have already started canvassing. He says this step is necessary to ensure accurate election results.

  1. Be patient. That’s Schwab’s advice to voters. He says certifying results takes time. Election workers represent various political parties and take an oath to uphold the law. The canvassing board carefully reviews all ballots in question. “All of that takes time and I would rather the results come back slowly, then come back wrong. And anybody who, who wants to compromise security for speed is going to end up showing how quickly you can fail,” Schwab says.
  2. Provisional ballots are individually reviewed. Provisional ballots are not included in unofficial results. Those ballots are used for various reasons, such as mismatching addresses, or a voter who received a mail in ballot showed up to vote in person. Canvassers check to see if that voter already submitted a ballot before counting the provisional ballot.
  3. The canvass won’t have a large effect on the election. Schwab doesn’t expect canvassing to impact large races in Kansas. He says it’s highly unlikely that it would change the results of the presidential or senate race. However, Schwab says some races in Johnson and Reno counties are separated by a handful of votes, and it’s too close to call until the provisional ballots are counted.
  4. Kansas has safeguards in place to prevent voter fraud. That includes provisional ballots. He says election offices take this time to review the ballots to ensure accuracy, not to manipulate results. “Accept it move on. This is not a civil war. This is not a World War. It is a campaign, and with strong personalities, and it’s going to be fine,” Schwab says.
  5. It would be difficult for an election worker to fraudulently add ballots. Each ballot is tied to a government ID that has not been used on another ballot and a signature that matches signatures from previous voting records and the DMV. “Unless you’re really good at forging thousands of signatures and you know thousands of peoples' government ID number, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to cheat,” Schwab says.
  6. Counties have until November 17 to complete the canvass. Some Kansas counties have already started canvassing. They have until Tuesday to finish.
  7. Kansas will certify results in December. The Kansas Board of Canvassers includes Governor Laura Kelly, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Secretary Schwab. They sign an official document certifying the results.

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