Lynne Hermansen
Lhermansen@cherryroad.com
Abortion opponents requested a recount of the Aug 2 vote on Amendment 2 on abortion rights for the State.
Only 60 votes changed for the 556,374 votes recounted in nine counties and the amendment was still defeated by a wide margin.
The votes in favor of the amendment increased by six and reduced votes against by 57.
Abortion opponents wanted the recount after concerns about voter fraud and their claims on the lack of reliability of voting machines.
The counties wrapped up counting ballots over the weekend.
One anti-abortion advocate has threatened to file a lawsuit requesting a full recount in the state.
Scott Scwab, Kansas Secretary of State, said the result shows that there’s no fraud in the Kansas election system.
“Kansans should be confident that these results put to rest the unfounded claims of election fraud in our state and know that our elections are secure and that their vote counted,”he said.
More than 920,000 ballots were cast on the amendment. Voters rejected the removal of abortion rights from the Kansas constitution by a 165,000 margin or 18 percent.
Melissa Leavitt from Colby, Kansas requested the recount and started an online fundraiser to help pay for it.
Kansas conducts recounts when the voting margins are tight or a private individual funds it.
Anti-abortion advocates targeted nine counties for $120,000 when they couldn’t pay for a full state recount.
Mark Gietzen, Wichita anti-abortion activist, and Leavitt funded the cost.
Leavitt said on social media they were praying for exposure of anything that may been nefarious.
The amendment wouldn’t have changed abortion rules for Kansas but wiped out a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling stating the constitution guarantees abortion rights. Kansas legislators could have passed a ban if the amendment had passed.
Gietzen said he didn’t expect the recount to change the outcome.
On Saturday, Aug. 20, the Johnson County Board of Canvassers voted to accept the recount of the Constitutional Amendment question on the Aug. 2 primary ballot.