OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A decisive statewide vote in favor of abortion rights in historically conservative Kansas was confirmed with a partial hand recount, with fewer than 100 votes altering after the final county reported outcomes Sunday.
Nine of the state’s 105 counties recounted their votes on the request of Melissa Leavitt, who has pushed for tighter election legal guidelines. A longtime anti-abortion activist, Mark Gietzen, is masking a lot of the prices. Gietzen acknowledged in an interview that it was unlikely to vary the result.
A no vote within the referendum signaled a need to maintain present abortion protections and a sure vote was for permitting the Legislature to tighten restrictions or ban abortion. After the recounts, “no” votes misplaced 87 votes and “yes” gained 6 votes.
Eight of the counties reported their results by the state’s Saturday deadline, however Sedgwick County delayed releasing its closing rely till Sunday as a result of spokeswoman Nicole Gibbs stated a number of the ballots weren’t separated into the proper precincts throughout the preliminary recount and needed to be resorted Saturday. She stated the variety of votes forged general didn’t change.
A bigger than anticipated turnout of voters on Aug. 2 rejected a poll measure that may have eliminated protections for abortion rights from the Kansas Constitution and given to the Legislature the best to additional limit or ban abortion. It failed by 18 proportion factors, or 165,000 votes statewide.
The vote drew broad consideration as a result of it was the primary state referendum on abortion for the reason that U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Gietzen, of Wichita, and Leavitt, of Colby, in far northwestern Kansas, have each recommended there might need been issues with out pointing to many examples.
Recounts more and more are instruments to encourage supporters of a candidate or trigger to imagine an election was stolen fairly than misplaced. A wave of candidates who’ve echoed former President Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was rigged have referred to as for recounts after dropping their very own Republican primaries.
Kansas regulation requires a recount if those that ask for it show they will cowl the counties’ prices. The counties pay provided that the result modifications.
Leavitt and Gietzen offered bank cards to pay for the practically $120,000 value, based on the secretary of state’s workplace. Leavitt has an internet fundraising web page. Gietzen additionally stated he’s getting donations from a community constructed over three a long time within the anti-abortion motion.
Gietzen stated Sunday he doesn’t settle for the outcomes of the Sedgwick County recount due to the discrepancy about the way in which the ballots had been sorted and since a number of the recount occurred Saturday with out exterior observers current to look at.
“We still don’t know what happened in Sedgwick County. I won’t pay for Sedgwick County,” he stated.
He stated he’s additionally involved in regards to the outcomes statewide due to a report out of Cherokee county in southeast Kansas in regards to the outcomes of 1 county election being transposed between two candidates when the outcomes had been transferred on a thumb drive from one voting machine to a tabulating machine.
Gietzen stated he plans to file a lawsuit Monday in search of a full statewide recall.
Gietzen stated he gained’t publicly report the names of personal donors serving to him finance the recount, despite the fact that a state ethics official says it’s required. Gietzen, who leads a small GOP group, the Kansas Republican Assembly, argues that he’s not campaigning for the anti-abortion measure however is as an alternative selling election integrity.
Votes had been recounted in Douglas County, house to the University of Kansas’ essential campus; Johnson County, in suburban Kansas City; Sedgwick County, house to Wichita, Shawnee County, house to Topeka; and Crawford, Harvey, Jefferson, Lyon and Thomas counties. Abortion opponents misplaced all of these counties besides Thomas.
In Jefferson County, the margin remained the identical, with the pro- and anti-amendment totals declining by 4 votes every. Linda Buttron, the county clerk, blamed the change on issues like ovals not being darkened and “the challenges of hand counting ballots.”
In Lyon County, the anti-amendment group misplaced a vote. County Clerk and Election Officer Tammy Vopat stated she wasn’t certain the rationale. But she famous: “You have to factor in human error.”
Johnson County, essentially the most populous in Kansas, confronted the most important recounting problem as a result of it had essentially the most ballots. It pulled in staff from totally different departments to assist. The sorting course of took so lengthy that the precise counting didn’t start till Thursday afternoon.
“This is almost like doing an Ironman triathlon and having to add on another marathon at the end,” stated Fred Sherman, the county’s Election Commissioner. “So it is quite a gargantuan process.”
Hanna reported from Topeka, Kansas. Josh Funk contributed to this report from Omaha, Nebraska.