Treasurer race, abortion question draw recount requests

Sedgwick County saw long lines to vote in the Aug. 2 Kansas primary.
Sedgwick County saw long lines to vote in the Aug. 2 Kansas primary.(KWCH)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Secretary of State’s Office received recount requests for two items from the Aug. 2 primary election. One is for the “Value Them Both” constitutional amendment question, while the other is in the Republican race for State Treasurer.

Citizen Missy Leavitt is requesting the recount on the question dealing with abortion rights. The Colby, Kansas resident wants a hand recount in every county.

The question, which would have made clear the Kansas Constitution does not grant the right to an abortion and that the Legislature has the power to regulate abortion, failed by abut 165,000 votes.

Leavitt, who calls herself an advocate for election integrity, created a fundraising page to support her effort. In a primary, people requesting a recount must pay for it. A final estimate for Leavitt’s request was not yet known.

“I have seen data in the week following our election in Kansas that there were irregularities the night of August 2,” Leavitt wrote on the page. “Kansas simply does not do enough to put the minds of voters at rest with their % based random audit system.”

The other race drawing a recount is one that remains too close to call. State Sen. Caryn Tyson filed the request for a hand recount in 55 of the state’s 105 counties for her race against State Rep. Steven Johnson.

Tyson says the counties selected were those that had audit discrepancies, missing results or machine malfunctions. Costs provided to her by the Secretary of State’s Office show her request will cost $42,007.19.

Tyson trailed Johnson by 409 votes in the latest update on the race, which was provided at 5 p.m. Thursday. However, 18,756 provisional ballots have yet to be reviewed, including those in Shawnee, Johnson and Sedgwick counties. Canvassers in those counties will meet Monday to certify their votes. Tyson carried Shawnee and Johnson counties on election night, while Johnson won in Sedgwick Co.

Whoever wins will face incumbent Lynn Rogers in the general election.

As of Friday night, the Secretary of State’s Office said the only major issue identified in counties’ post-election audit was in Cherokee Co. SOS Spokesperson Whitney Tempel said a vendor error caused a programming error on the county’s tabulator. It impacted their Dist. 1 County Commission race.

“Our office has been working with the county to ensure all ballots are properly counted and tabulated correctly prior to the county canvass,” Tempel said. “The purpose of the post-election audit is to provide us with confirmation and/or highlight errors, as it did in Cherokee county. We are looking at the law to see how we can hold the vendor accountable.”

Counties included in Caryn Tyson’s recount request:

Barton 

Chase  

Cloud  

Dickinson   

Ford

Gray

Greeley

Harper 

Harvey 

Haskell

Hodgeman     

Jackson

Jefferson 

Jewell 

Kearny 

Kingman

Kiowa 

Labette

Lane   

Lincoln

Logan 

Lyon   

Marion 

Marshall     

McPherson     

Meade  

Morris 

Morton 

Ness   

Norton 

Osage  

Osborne

Ottawa 

Pawnee 

Phillips

Pottawatomie

Pratt  

Rawlins

Reno   

Republic

Rice

Russell

Saline

Scott 

Seward 

Sherman

Smith  

Stanton

Stevens

Sumner 

Thomas

Trego  

Wabaunsee   

Wallace

Washington

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