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Conflict of Interest Reports Missing Online

People who want to learn about Kansas legislators’ financial interests have about a 32% chance of not finding the information online, according to a review of records by The Associated Press.

To see a report that’s not online, a resident must visit or call the secretary of state’s office in Topeka and request a copy at 50 cents a page.

Roughly a third of lawmakers file the disclosures on paper rather than online, and Secretary of State Scott Schwab’s office said outdated equipment prevents staff from uploading the forms to the computer system that can be quickly accessed by voters.

An office spokeswoman said they’re working on the issue, but their scanner doesn’t completely obscure information on some of the forms, such as Social Security numbers, that the office needs to redact before posting.

The department is migrating off of the system, and plans to finish the project by 2021.

A 1974 state law requires lawmakers and hundreds of other public officials to file annual forms called statements of substantial interest.

The forms allow voters to see whether lawmakers have financial interests that might affect their votes.


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