Secretary of State briefing lists election night problems, next steps

There are still thousands of potential votes left to be counted before election results can...
There are still thousands of potential votes left to be counted before election results can become official and the Kansas Secretary of State’s office said in a briefing Wednesday that more than 25,000 mail in ballots have yet to be returned.
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:55 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - There are still thousands of potential votes left to be counted before election results can become official and the Kansas Secretary of State’s office said in a briefing Wednesday that more than 25,000 mail in ballots have yet to be returned.

Bryan Caskey, the state election director, explained what other measures need to be completed.

“What’s left to be counted is by mail that have not returned which is about 29,000 votes, not all of those are going to come in but that’s the biggest universe, and the provisional ballots throughout the state which we do not have an exact number yet, we are trying to run that down as fast as we can and any ballots that were counted by hand and not included in last night’s results,” said Caskey.

On example is that four counties -- Dickinson, Ford, Saline, and Montgomery counties -- were hand counting about 3,000 ballots on Wednesday following election due to technical issues.

“In Dickinson Co., they experienced a problem where the unique mark that goes on every ballot was inadvertently placed on the tracking marks that goes on the ballot,” according to Caskey.

Ford Co. had a programming problem affecting some precincts, Montgomery county’s new high-speed scanner did not perform as expected, while in Saline Co. some ballots were folded.

“Because of the length of the ballot, they folded their ballots over and because of where the fold is, it disrupted the timing marks on the scans,” Caskey said.

As for recounts, Kansas does not have an automatic recount law, but candidates may request them.

“In general elections, if a candidate requests a recount and the results are within 1 percent, the state will reimburse the county for the recount,” according to Caskey. “At this point there is not a race that is within one half or one percent.”

Any registered voter may request a recount on a ballot issue. It is not clear now if the state would pay for it if it is within the half-percent margin. The legislative oversite amendment question currently is failing by 0.07%.

Any mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday night and received by Monday, November 14, will still count. The deadline to request a recount is November 18.