Abortion amendment recount begins in Sedgwick County

The recounting of the constitutional amendment votes in Sedgwick County started Wednesday...
The recounting of the constitutional amendment votes in Sedgwick County started Wednesday morning at 7 a.m.(Sedgwick County Government)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 11:01 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The recount of the Kansas constitutional amendment started Wednesday morning in Sedgwick County. The county was one of nine counties across the state forced to recount votes on the amendment which focused on abortion rights.

In Sedgwick County, there were 82,551 ‘no’ votes and 60,140 ‘yes’ votes. Voting ‘no’ meant there would be no change to the constitution, while a vote ‘yes’ meant abortion regulations would be in the hands of legislators. Statewide, the measure failed by 18 percentage points or 165,000 votes.

Experts said there is likely no chance the recount will change the outcome of the election. But state law allows any registered voter to ask for a recount on a statewide ballot question, and two Republican activists were able to cover the cost of nearly $120,000 with credit cards.

The recount is taking place at the Sedgwick County Extension Office and is open to the public to observe. This process has to be completed, along with certification from the Board of County Canvassers, by Saturday.

“We’ve got about 25 election day sites done. Just a reminder, we have 81 election-day sites and then 14 early voting sties,” said Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Angela Caudillo. “Beyond that, we also have boxes for advance-by-mail and provisional.”

Caudillo said the recount requires dozens of teams of bipartisan election workers, each helping sort ballots and checking each other’s counts.

“Then the team of bipartisan workers will take a look at the ballots and decide whether it says ‘yes,’ it says ‘no,’ nothing or both,” she said. “and then they will put it into the pile accordingly. They’ll look at each and every single one and put them into their respective piles. And then when they get completely through that precinct, they’ll count up the number in each pile and that’s what they report back to the supervising judge.”

With the public invited to watch the recount process, Caudill said transparence is “a great part of it.”

Voter Jennifer McCoy accepted the open invitation to view the recount process, saying she “wanted to be assured there’s still election integrity.” . She said she didn’t realize how hands-on the recount process is and the attention to detail it requires.

“This has been real eye-opening,” McCoy said.

Copyright 2022 KWCH. All rights reserved.