That was the date of my trial. It was a major learning experience for me. By which I mean it was emotionally painful, a complete failure, and a sad disappointment although that last result was not unexpected. It’s taken me over a week to steel up my emotional fortitude to write about it.
I had not expected to actually get a trial that day. I had expected the lawsuit to be thrown out without a trial on some legal ground or other. Such as their claim that it wasn’t legal to name Ms. Lehman as defendant. So I was not surprised by the result being I can’t see the machine paper tapes. But I was deeply disappointed at how difficult it will be to actually accomplish this goal.
While most of the problems identified by defendant I feel I can remedy, what I didn’t expect was to be foiled so completely by a recently passed law that makes illegal for judges to grant access to those records for any reason other than a recount. Which must be filed within a few days of official election results being released. That just isn’t going to happen without professional legal representation.
I can reconfigure my sampling plan to reduce the costs of collecting records for an audit such that it wouldn’t be an undue burden on their office to grant me access. I can accept that the ballots don’t fall under the Kansas Open Records act and court orders must be obtained before access can be granted.
I think the idea of people with nefarious purposes getting access in order to intimidate voters is ridiculous. Not that it hasn’t happened in the past, but the fact that it would be such a difficult and time-consuming approach to accomplish that goal. There are more cost effective ways for people with nefarious purposes to jigger the vote. Starting with a sabotage of the voting machines or vote counting software on election day. But I didn’t present that as an argument. I didn’t present any arguments at all.
I agreed with the defense’s argument that my credentials weren’t important. I feel that any responsible citizen should be able to access election ballots from years ago (presumably they store them for that very reason!) and verify for themselves the accuracy of the official count.
I had hoped that my credentials would grant me access if the judge did not agree with that sentiment. (He did not.) But I didn’t expect there to be a law forbidding access for the purpose of an independent study of the accuracy of the results. I don’t think I can effectively argue to a judge to find a law unconstitutional.