Kobach Will Remove Himself From Kansas Vote Tally

Governor's contest remains neck and neck
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2018 6:25 AM CDT
Kobach Will Remove Himself From Kansas Vote Tally
Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer, left, alongside Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann, addresses the media at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., on Wednesday.   (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he will recuse himself from the vote tally in the state's tight gubernatorial primary race, which he leads, but barely. Kobach's current job makes him the state's chief elections official, and his opponent—incumbent Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer—has called for the recusal, reports CNN. Kobach will now oblige, "but as I say, it really doesn’t make any difference. My office doesn't count the votes. The counties do." Colyer also has demanded that Kobach refrain from advising election officials as they recheck tallies, with some finding discrepancies between their totals and what the secretary of state's website reported, reports the Kansas City Star. Kobach has chalked up the discrepancies to "keystroke errors."

"The secretary of state has a substantive role in this process and the recusal needs to be substantive," says Colyer spokesman Kendall Marr. Suggesting a court battle might loom, Marr adds Colyer's camp has "received countless reports" that "voters had difficulties finding [Colyer's] name on the ballot, were forced to vote on provisional ballots, or were turned away outright for unknown reasons." Backed by President Trump, Kobach leads the race by roughly 100 votes, though more than 10,000 absentee and provisional ballots were still to be counted as of Thursday. Democrats generally favor Kobach, believing he could be more easily defeated than Colyer in November. (More Kris Kobach stories.)

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