Election Error Just Cut Kobach's Lead in Kansas

Trump's pick for governor is now leading the incumbent by fewer than 100 votes
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2018 2:34 PM CDT
Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer addresses the media at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, a day after his primary race against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.   (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
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(Newser) – A razor-tight race for governor in Kansas just got even closer. Election officials in Thomas County initially reported that incumbent Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer received 422 votes in Tuesday's election, but a recheck of the tally shows he actually got 522, reports the AP. That means Colyer now trails conservative Secretary of State Kris Kobach—the candidate backed by President Trump—by only 91 votes in the gubernatorial race. The county clerk blames her handwriting on the results sheet faxed to the secretary of state's office (Kobach's office) as part of the official tally.

"They just misread it," says Shelly Harms. The re-checking of tally sheets and the counting of late-arriving write-in ballots continues, but it seems a sure bet that the race will require an official recount. If that happens, Kobach would technically oversee the procedure, and he sees no need to recuse himself, reports the Kansas City Star. However, the newspaper rounds up opinions from legal and political experts who disagree, and Kobach has suggested he would do so "if my opponent insists." (Read more Kris Kobach stories.)

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