Provisional ballots take center stage


National News

August 13, 2018 - 10:27 AM

TOPEKA (AP) — The counting of the last ballots in the tight and contentious Republican primary for Kansas governor will stretch out over the week and still might not settle the race.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Gov. Jeff Colyer were locked in a tight race after late mail-in ballots from all 105 counties were added to totals from advance voting and ballots cast at the polls on Aug. 7.
The state’s 105 counties still must review nearly 9,000 provisional ballots and determine how many of them were cast in the Republican primary — and how many will be counted. They have until Aug. 20 to finish that process and certify their local results.
Allen County’s provisional ballots — 36 in all — will be considered when commissioners canvass the local elections at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the courthouse. The canvass will be part of the regular Commission meeting.
Here’s a look at the process for counting the remaining votes and a possible recount:

The Legislature last year changed the state’s law on mail-in ballots so that they were to be counted if they were postmarked Tuesday, the day of the primary, and arrived by Friday. Previously, they had to arrive by Election Day, and in the 2016 general election, more than 500 arrived afterward, said Bryan Caskey, the state elections director in the secretary of state’s office.

While Kobach’s office provides guidance on the handling of ballots and supervises the counting, the work is done by the counties.
The chief elections officer in each county appoints a bipartisan board of election workers to handle the individual ballots.
The secretary of state appoints an election commissioner in the state’s four most populous counties — Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte — and the chief elections officers in the other 101 are elected clerks.
The elections chiefs present their workers’ recommendations on whether provisional ballots should be counted to the county commission, which then decides and certifies the final results.