Top Priority: Ensuring Integrity and Information Security of Elections & Business Records
OLATHE – Kansas State Representative Keith Esau announced his candidacy today for the Office of Kansas Secretary of State (KSSOS). Esau made his announcement at the Annual Olathe Republican Party Picnic and spoke to an enthusiastic crowd. Esau outlined his priorities for the office – chief among which is information security to ensure the integrity of Kansas elections and business records administered by the KSSOS.
“The KSSOS is charged with a special level of public trust – and requires a special level of competency to achieve and maintain that trust,” Esau noted. “I am the only candidate in this race with 30 years of information technology experience – the experience to confront the modern challenges and threats confronting the duties of the office.”
Esau referenced recent disclosures of cyberattacks on 39 states’ voter registration systems, as well as two successful hacking incidents accessing voter registration systems, illustrating the urgency for bolstering and securing KSSOS information systems.
“While we must continue to be vigilant watching the front door of our polling places by ensuring proper registration and identification of all voters, we must now also keep watch on the back door – defending our election systems from electronic tampering and manipulation,” Esau continued.
Esau further noted that elections are not the only critical duty of the KSSOS and that much of Kansas commerce is dependent on a trustworthy business filing system maintained by the office.
“I’m an IT guy. When I look at the vast KSSOS records and databases, I don’t see it as some paper-pushing office. It is a vital technology platform critical to the economic health of our state,” Esau said. “In addition to elections, the office facilitates commerce, lending, property rights, and related functions that if attacked or manipulated could wreak havoc on Kansas economy.”
Esau brings a wealth of knowledge to secure the critical information systems maintained by the KSSOS. His 30-year career in information technology as a software developer and systems auditor is augmented by a familiarity with elections and state information systems from his chairmanship of the House Elections Committee and service on the Joint Committee for Information Technology, and the newly formed House Committee on Government Technology and Security.
Keith Esau currently represents Kansas House District 14. He and his wife Charlotte are proud parents of five children and four grandchildren. The Esaus reside in Olathe.