Skip to comments.Kansas governorís race turns nasty as Kobachís lead dwindles
Posted on 08/09/2018 7:52:43 PM PDT by yesthatjallen
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday that he will remove himself from the further counting of votes while his Republican primary battle with Gov. Jeff Colyer hangs in the balance, describing it as a symbolic step in response to a public demand from Colyer.
The governor publicly accused Kobach, the states top elections official, of giving county election officials information about the handling of yet-uncounted ballots inconsistent with Kansas law. He demanded in a letter to Kobach that Kobach stop advising county officials and have the states attorney general do it instead.
The close contest between the embattled governor and a conservative lightning rod took another acrimonious turn as Kobachs already tiny lead shrunk from 191 votes to just 121 out of 311,000 ballots cast, after two counties reported discrepancies in their initial tallies.
Kobach needled Colyer in a Fox Business network appearance Thursday evening, saying it would be pointless to remove himself from the process because the states 105 counties handle the counting of ballots but he might do so just to make Colyer feel good.
But a little more than an hour later, questioned on CNN, Kobach said: I said, Of course, if he wants me to, I would, and he has said, OK, I do want you to, so I will.
The counting is not complete because state law says mail-in ballots that are postmarked Tuesday can be accepted by the counties as late as Friday. And county officials still must review perhaps several thousand provisional ballots, given to voters at the polls when their eligibility is in question. They have until Aug. 20 to finish.
Colyer released his letter to Kobach after his campaign announced that it had set up a voting integrity hotline and urged people to report their complaints about the election. Colyer spokesman Kendall Marr said it received countless reports, saying he personally knows of several dozen.
It has come to my attention that your office is giving advice to county election officials as recently as a conference call yesterday and you are making public statements on national television which are inconsistent with Kansas law and may serve to suppress the vote in the ongoing primary election process, Colyer said in his letter to Kobach.
In the letter, Colyer questioned whether Kobach was advising counties not to count some mail-in ballots, including those with missing or unreadable postmarks, even if they arrived by Friday. He also said he heard reports that some unaffiliated voters who by law can declare an affiliation at the polls and vote in a primary were given provisional ballots instead of the regular ballots they were due.
And Colyer wrote that circumstances obviously increase the likelihood that one of the candidates may seek a recount, or even the possibility of litigation.
Kobach, a vocal advocate of tough immigration and voter identification policies, advised Trumps campaign in 2016 and the White House afterward and served as vice chairman of Trumps now disbanded commission on election fraud. Trump tweeted his endorsement of Kobach on Monday, less than 24 hours before polls opened.
But Kobachs no-apology, hard-right conservatism has alienated even some fellow Republicans, and Colyer has sought to project a more mild-mannered, steadier style.
As secretary of state, Kobach sets rules, gives county officials guidance and appoints election commissioners in the states four most populous counties. Kobach spokeswoman Danedri Herbert said he would respond to Colyers letter Friday.
Kobach told reporters Wednesday that he knew of no significant reports of irregularities in Tuesdays primaries, outside of long delays in reporting results from the states most populous county. There, Johnson County in the Kansas City area, results were delayed by problems with uploading data from new voting machines.
But the totals for the GOP primary for governors race in at least two counties posted on the secretary of states website did not match the totals from the counties themselves.
First, in Thomas County in the states northwest corner, the final, unofficial results posted on the secretary of states website show Kobach winning there with 466 votes to Colyers 422. But the tally posted by the Thomas County clerks office shows Colyer with 522 votes, or 100 votes more, a number the clerk confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday.
Bryan Caskey, state elections director, said county officials pointed out the discrepancy Thursday following a routine request for a postelection check of the numbers to counties by the secretary of states office.
This is a routine part of the process, Caskey said. This is why we emphasize that election-night results are unofficial.
Thomas County Clerk Shelly Harms said its possible that her handwriting on the tally sheet faxed to the secretary of states office was bad enough in the rush of primary-night business that the number for Colyer wasnt clear. But a copy she provided to the AP showed that the number for Colyer is unambiguously 522.
They just misread it, she told the AP.
On CNN, Kobach suggested the mistake was among the kind of keystroke errors that happen routinely and are caught later.
And in Haskell County, elections officials said they had not initially reported returns from one precinct. Once those votes were added, the net result was a gain of 30 votes.
The last time Kansas had a libtard governor, Barry the socialist became preezy.
At least Kobach appointed all the folks in the SoS office. In Ohio-12, they are subject to John Kasich’s #NeverTrump cronies to “find missing ballots” to help O’Connor prevail.
EVERY Republican running this year MUST stand up to the Socialist Democrat Party! Threaten lawsuits - take it to each and EVERY State Supreme Court!
That’s how the Dirty ‘Rats have played it for DECADES!
Thank You, President Trump! Thank you for paving the way, taking no quarter and calling out these CHEATERS every d@mn day! God Bless You!
Colyer sounds more like a democrat
Wait till they find 600 pro-Colyer ballots in a mayonnaise jar under the porch of the head of the state Democratic Party.
Wasn’t that how the pro-communist Secy of State for Minnesota made sure that Al Franken beat Sen. Norman Coleman, or was it some other poor Republican who got screwed by “suddenly found missing ballots”.
And if you ever have a Democrat vote counter named Chad, run for the police, fast.
Interesting how all the provisional votes are liberal votes.
And discrepancy votes.
Going towards the more liberal candidate. Sorry, I’m tired. Wish we could delete and start all over.
“In Ohio-12, they are subject to John Kasichs #NeverTrump cronies to find missing ballots to help OConnor prevail.”
Agreed. They’re trying to “find” enough ballots to stir up a recount at minimum.
(TBH, Ohio-12 would do well to just cut off Franklin County)
People, many on FR, believe Trump Republicans have it in the bag.
The Trump victory blindsided Democrats. They won't be fooled again. They will vote or try to win by other means. This is not a game to them. This is revenge.
Complacency and cockiness will lead to loses.
One might in fact be surprised how inflamed the Democrat movement is. Things may come to a knife edge balance.
Part of our problem today is that our elections don’t represent nearly as much of the electorate as they could. A theoretically perfect poll might come to a different conclusion than our practical polls where participation is voluntary and energization (word?) is an important factor.
Use the Russian Hacking hoax as the reason to tighten up all aspects of election security and information assurance.
Use the 9/11 attacks as the reason to continually tighten border security and immigration policy.
I disagree with only one point in your statement; as a former Marine and current truck driver, absentee ballots have allowed me to continue to participate when I was away from home on voting day. It would be pointedly disadvantaging to those of us who cannot always get to the actual polls.
Colyer has the support of Bob Dole, who is the only national Republican presidential contender to endorse Trump.
You are aware that this was the Republican primary, right?
Yes. I’m just speaking in general. My Primary for selecting a Republican to oust Tammy Baldwin (D, WI) is coming up August 14th, so I’m getting kind of revved up. The two Candidates are one of our State Senators, Leah Vukmir and some fly-by-night that out of state PACs are throwing money at, Kevin Nichols. I’m voting for Leah. The tactics they’re using behind Nichols is what GOT us Tammy Baldwin in the FIRST place.
The Dems choose, that day, who will challenge Governor Walker in November. Tony Evers, Super. of Schools, is looking like he has the lead, but the other candidates have been hitting the advertising and mailings pretty hard.
Governor Walker will beat whoever they put up against him. :)
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