Constitutional amendment recount costs Shawnee Co. taxpayers $17,000

Shawnee county taxpayers appear to be the ones footing the bill for a recent recount, following the approval from Shawnee Co. Commissioners.
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 4:45 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee county taxpayers appear to be the ones footing the bill for a recent recount, following the approval from Shawnee Co. Commissioners.

Commissioners approved a $17,000 dollar funding request made Monday morning by elections commissioner Andrew Howell. Howell said that $17,000 is what it cost his office in overtime to recount the constitutional question -- or the Value Them Both question - on the August primary ballot.

Commissioner Aaron Mays says even though the county has agreed to pay the extra expense, there’s a chance the state could reimburse.

“Somebody has to pay those payroll costs and, right now, it looks like us. We are hoping we will get reimbursed from the state, but at this point, it does not appear that is a sure thing, and so‚ we are just going to have to wait and see,” according to Mays. “We don’t know when that would happen or if it will happen at all.”

A backer from the constitutional amendment’s “yes” side requested the recount in Shawnee and eight other counties shortly after the August 2nd primary -- citing concerns of irregularities.

The measure passed by 165,000 votes statewide. The Shawnee Co. recount netted 13 more votes in opposition of the Value them Both Amendment.

“We were statutorily required to conduct this in a certain amount of time, which was difficult to accomplish, we ended up paying out a lot of overtime to employees and things like that, and so it was an expensive process and probably an unnecessary one,” according to Mays.