UPDATED 6:39 AM PT — Fri. August 10, 2018
Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach has recused himself from overseeing vote counting after discrepancies are found in multiple counties.
The current secretary of state reversed his earlier decision Thursday evening and will no longer provide advice to election officials.
This follows incumbent Governor Jeff Colyer’s request for Kobach to step aside, while a large number of ballots remain uncounted.
The state’s Tuesday primaries for the GOP nomination resulted with the Trump-backed Kobach narrowly leading Colyer in the polls by just 121-votes. However, officials across multiple polling areas discovered the number was inaccurate upon conducting routine post-election checks.
Wyandotte County Election Commissioner Bruce Newby said his region’s small, but significant errors were caused by ballot-casting technology.
“When we did our audit on Wednesday, we discovered that one polling place we thought we’d only uploaded once, had in fact uploaded twice,” explained Newby. “It’s supposedly the new technology is supposed to be bigger better faster stronger, but we’re finding that’s not true.”
According to Kobach’s website, he took Thomas County with 466-votes to Colyer’s 422-votes. The county clerk confirmed Colyer’s count is actually 522-votes — cutting Kobach’s statewide lead in half.
This leaves the candidates neck-in-neck, with Kobach ahead by a total of 91-votes. However, election officials still need to record thousands of provisional and mail-in ballots.
A recount is likely n the red state’s close primary, while officials work to meet the Monday, August 20 ballot counting deadline in Kansas.