‘Exhausting’ recount process for Value Them Both Amendment voting underway

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 3:16 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Election officials have begun counting more than 250,000 ballots after enough funding was raised to initiate a Value Them Both Amendment recount in nine counties.

Johnson County Election Commissioner Fred Sherman said Tuesday afternoon 35 election workers in the county started the process at 10 a.m. Sherman said the goal is to be finished by Friday afternoon.

Sherman said the initial stage of the recount is like a jigsaw puzzle, sorting ballots by precinct.

“This is almost like doing an Iron Man triathlon and having to add on a marathon at the end,” Sherman said, stating that his election workers are exhausted and have been working around the clock since early July. “It is quite a gargantuan process, but it is part of the election process and procedures here in the state of Kansas. So we are implementing the policies adopted by the state of Kansas.”

Sherman said he is not anticipating the need for volunteers just yet.

The estimated cost to Johnson County for the recount will be about $75,000, and it will be refunded by the state.

The following counties are involved in the recount: Crawford, Douglas, Harvey, Jefferson, Johnson, Lyon, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Thomas.

The recount request came Friday from Melissa Leavitt of Colby, Kansas, but Mark Gietzen, an anti-abortion activist from Wichita, pledged to help pay for the recount. Gietzen used a credit card to pay for all but $1,500 of the costs, which Leavitt will cover.

The “Value Them Both” Amendment was defeated Aug. 2 by a 59-41 percent margin in the first major vote since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade earlier this summer.

Additional coverage:

Kansas abortion amendment recount underway in 9 counties, including JoCo