Log in Fall Special

Last Kansas county to release abortion vote recount results


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The final Kansas county that was recounting ballots from an Aug. 2 vote that affirmed abortion rights in the state was expected to release its numbers Sunday.

Sedgwick County officials missed Saturday's deadline to complete the recount because the election commissioner there found some things she wanted to double check. It wasn't immediately clear what the problems were. The county scheduled its canvassing board meeting for Sunday afternoon.

Eight other counties completed the recount on time, and the numbers they released did little to change the initial tally. Election officials said small changes in vote totals were generally made because of human error, such as voters making unclear marks on their ballots that weren't recognized when machines scanned them.

The ballot measure would have removed protections for abortion rights from the Kansas Constitution and given to the Legislature the power to further restrict or ban abortion. It failed by 18 percentage points, or 165,000 votes statewide.

Nine counties were required to hand recount the votes at the request of two anti-abortion activists who questioned election procedures but did not provide proof of any specific problems.

In addition to Wichita's Sedgwick County, votes were recounted in suburban Kansas City's Johnson County; Shawnee County, which is home to Topeka; Douglas County, home to the University of Kansas' main campus; and the smaller counties of Crawford, Harvey, Jefferson, Lyon and Thomas. Supporters of maintaining abortion rights won in all those counties except Thomas.