How do I file a complaint?

Kansas administrative complaint procedure

Any person who believes that there is a violation in Kansas of any provision of Title Three of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, including a violation that has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur, may file a complaint. The administrative complaint procedure is set out in K.S.A. 25-4701 through 25-4716 and is summarized in A Guide to HAVA Complaint Procedure (Español).

How to file a complaint

A complaint must be in writing and signed under oath by the person filing the complaint (the 'complainant'). The complainant should use the administrative complaint form provided by the Secretary of State's office or the county election office. A complaint must be filed within 30 days after the occurrence of the actions or events that form the basis for the complaint. For violations that are occurring or about to occur, the complaint should be filed as soon as possible to provide time to remedy the problem.

Where to file a complaint

The complaint must be filed with the Secretary of State's office, Memorial Hall, 120 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66612-1594, (800) 262-8683, FAX (785) 291-3051. The Secretary of State will mail a copy of the complaint to the state or local election officer against whom the complaint is filed (the "respondent"). If the Secretary of State is named as the respondent, the complaint will be directed to the Kansas Department of Administration, which will review and handle the complaint. Complaints may be consolidated if they relate to the same actions or raise common questions of law or fact.

Hearing and administrative determination

A complainant may request that the Secretary of State conduct a hearing on the record. This request should be made on the complaint form. If a hearing is requested, the Secretary or his/her designee will act as the hearing officer. The hearing will be conducted not later than 30 days after the Secretary of State receives the complaint. The Secretary of State will give at least five days advance notice of the date, time and place of the hearing to the complainant and to each named respondent. If a hearing is not requested, the Secretary of State will review the complaint and make a determination without a hearing. The Secretary of State may request an informal conference of the parties to resolve the complaint.

If the Secretary of State determines that a violation has occurred, he/she will order an appropriate remedy. The remedy may include an order instructing the respondent to take a specified action or prohibiting the respondent from taking a specified action, or, requiring the respondent to obtain training or education. The remedy may include ordering a party to pay the costs of the hearing if the party's actions were egregious, frivolous, harassing or for an improper purpose. The remedy will not include an award of money damages or attorney's fees.

The Secretary of State will issue a final determination within 90 days after the complaint is filed, unless the complainant consents in writing to an extension. The final determination will be mailed to the complainant and to each respondent, and will be published on the Secretary of State's web site. If the Secretary of State does not issue a final determination within 90 days after the complaint was filed or within any extension to which the complainant consents, the complaint will be referred to an arbitrator for resolution within 10 days.

The final determination or resolution may not be appealed under the Kansas Act for Judicial Review and Civil Enforcement.