KORA Policy Statement
POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR
OBTAINING COPIES OF OR ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS
PURSUANT TO THE KANSAS OPEN RECORDS ACT- KORA
K.S.A. 45-215 ET SEQ.
Under the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) you may inspect or obtain copies of public records kept by the Secretary of State, unless a specific statutory provision exempts them from disclosure or requires redaction.
The Secretary of State must send an initial response within three business days of receiving your request, acknowledging your request.
You may be charged a reasonable fee, not exceeding actual cost, for staff time and expenses in responding to your request. You will be given an estimate of the expense before work is done to respond to your request.
The Open Records Act does not require the Secretary of State to answer questions or prepare reports, only to make available existing records. Requests for records not yet in existence or documents to be created in the future cannot be honored.
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, except official state holidays. Requests received after 5:00 p.m. will not be logged in and processed until the next business day.
Designated Records Custodian: Clayton L. Barker; Deputy General Counsel
REQUESTING OPEN RECORDS
For your convenience, the Secretary of State’s office provides three ways to obtain access to its public records: (1) Records Access Request (RAR) or (2) Voter registration Data or (3) Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) request.
(1) Records Access Request: Allows access to business records that are intended to be publicly available. You can choose which records from a menu of options, which include Resident Agents; Businesses of all types, both For-Profit and Not-For-Profit; Charities; Notaries; Fundraisers, and Lobbyists.
To use this option, fill out and print this form: https://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/Elections/RAR.pdf. Sign your name certifying that you will not use the information for prohibited commercial purposes (K.S.A. 45-220(c)); submit to the Secretary of State’s Deputy of Business Services; and pay the appropriate fee (K.S.A. 45-218(f)). You will receive a response within a reasonable time.
(2) Voter Registration Data Request: Allows access to voter registration data.
To use this option, fill out and submit this form: https://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/Elections/CVR.pdf.
(3) Kansas Open Records Access: Allows access to any open record maintained by the Secretary of State.
To assure that the request is clearly understood, the agency requires requests for access to or copies of records be made in writing. All requests for records must state:
- The requestor’s name,
- Mailing address,
- A phone number where the requestor can be contacted, and
- Enough information about the records being requested so that the staff can determine if the requested records exist and are in the agency’s possession.
Open Records Requests may be mailed to the office or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For convenience, you can use this request form: https://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/Administration/PRAR.pdf. A sample letter is also provided at the end of this policy. We will require you to certify that you will not use the information for commercial purposes (K.S.A. 45-220(c)).
One record request in a 12-month period that can be provided with less than one hour of staff time or which is less than 25 pages will be provided at no charge.
For requests exceeding one hour of staff time or that are more than 25 pages, the following rates shall apply:
- Copies will be charged at 25¢ per page for paper copies, $0.125 per page for electronic copies;
- Mailing will be charged at 50¢ for first 5 pages, 25¢ for additional 5-page increments for paper copies; electronic copies may be mailed or transmitted electronically, and the cost calculated based on the volume;
- Staff Time will be charged at the rate of pay for each person(s) whose time is used in order to assist and/or respond to a specific request. This may include the time spent to access records maintained on computer facilities, review records to determine whether closure exceptions apply and/or to redact open from closed information. For most requests time will be charged as follows:
- Clerical time will be charged at $18 per hour;
- Attorney time will be charged at $35 per hour;
- Information Technology (IT) services will be charged at $38 per hour; and
- Time for other classifications of employees will be charged based upon actual costs.
- Additional fees, including any other costs incurred by the agency in connection with complying with a record request may be assessed to the requestor.
ADVANCE PAYMENT OF FEES REQUIRED
The agency will provide the requestor with an estimate of the fees before gathering and processing or providing access to the records. The estimated fees MUST be paid BEFORE the agency processes the request or provides access to the requested records.
We will do our best to provide an accurate estimate of the fee. It is possible that the records can be produced for less than the estimated amount. If so, any additional amounts will be refunded.
It is also possible that we underestimate the once the actual processing work is started. If we discover that the estimated fee is too low, we will promptly advise the requestor of any correction to the fee and request advance payment of any additional costs before continuing the work.
Payment may be made by check or money order payable to the Office of the Secretary of State. Returned checks will incur an additional fee of $30.00.
Generally, records may be faxed if the request is for fewer than 15 pages and fax time and facilities are readily available.
If express delivery is requested, the requestor MUST arrange for pick up and packaging of the records; all associated costs for such delivery MUST be paid by the requestor.
The agency records custodian has sole discretion as to whether to honor requests for faxing or express delivery.
REQUESTS FOR ELECTRONIC FORMAT RECORDS
The records custodian will be the sole judge of the ability of the agency to comply with any request for the records to be provided in electronic format or for records that must be produced in any special computer-generated format.
The Office of the Secretary of State will act upon requests as soon as possible, with some response being made to the requestor no later than the third business day following the receipt of the request. If it appears that additional time is needed, fees will be assessed, or some of the records may be closed by law, a written response will be provided as soon as the records have been located and reviewed.
In certain circumstances involving personal records, the Office of the Secretary of State may require verification of the requestor’s identity.
Below is a sample of the suggested letter format for sending a written request to the Records Custodian.
Kansas Secretary of State’s Office
120 SW 10th Ave, 1st Floor
Topeka, KS 66612
RE: Open Records Request
Dear Records Custodian:
Under the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), I request access to or copies of the following records (please be as specific as possible in describing the records you want and the period your request covers; attach additional pages if necessary):
I request the information be provided in the following format in possible (please check one):
My contact information is:
City, State Zip Code
I certify that I do not intend to, and will not: (A) Use any list of names or addresses contained in or derived from the records or information for the purpose of selling or offering for sale any property or service to any person listed or to any person who resides at any address listed; or (B) sell, give or otherwise make available to any person any list of names or addresses contained in or derived from the records or information for the purpose of allowing that person to sell or offer for sale any property or service to any person listed or to any person who resides at any address listed.
(Name of Requestor)