KS treasurer: GOP primary is too close to call on election night



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2022 Kansas Primary Election Results

Get the latest updates from the 2022 Kansas primary elections, including a vote on an abortion rights constitutional amendment, the US House and Senate primaries, and the Statehouse races.

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The GOP primary for Kansas treasurer was too close to be called on election night — and remained a close race early Wednesday afternoon with fewer than 800 votes separating the candidates, according to unofficial final election results posted on the Kansas Secretary of State website.

Republicans Steven Johnson and Caryn Tyson were neck and neck, with Johnson narrowly leading Tyson 50.1% to 49.9%. As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, a total of 426,677 ballots had been counted.

At one point Tuesday evening, as the results rolled in, with more than 389,000 ballots counted, the breakdown was just 20 votes.

Contacted on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Johnson said he preferred to wait until more mail-in ballots had been counted before commenting on the race.

Tyson said she is also waiting to see the provisional and mail-in ballot counts.

“The election results are extremely close,” she said by phone without commenting on the unofficial results.

“We ran a very professional, fact-based campaign. I have visited every county in the state of Kansas, met great people, and am excited about all the relationships we have built across the state. I will continue to work diligently for Kansas and for the taxpayers of Kansas so that we have a smaller, smarter government.

By mid-afternoon Wednesday, Johnson’s lead over Tyson had widened slightly to 771 votes from 765 earlier in the day.

The race isn’t over yet – and probably won’t be called for some time.

Provisional ballots have not been counted and mail-in ballots postmarked on Election Day will be counted if they arrive by Friday.

Kansas Assistant Secretary of State for Elections Bryan Caskey told reporters Wednesday morning that the close results also triggered a new provision in state law that requires Kansas’ 105 counties to audit an additional 10% of their constituencies for races within 1% on election night, in addition to completing regular post-election audit requirements.

The special audit requires a manual count, which Caskey says will take place this week.

The regular post-election audit requires each county to audit a statewide race, a state legislative, and a county race. Counties will also be asked to audit the vote on the constitutional amendment, Caskey said.

“Each county will need to convene a hand count committee and count all of those (additional) quarters by hand and compare them with the machine total to verify that everything worked properly,” Caskey said.

For small, rural counties, that might mean an additional constituency.

But for larger counties, “it’s going to be a lot more,” Caskey said.

Johnson County, which has 610 precincts, “will have to audit about 60 more precincts just for the state treasurer,” he said.

Sedgwick County, with 364 constituencies, would audit around 36 more.

The audit results and the machine’s vote tally must match exactly. If they don’t, Caskey said the secretary of state’s office will likely order additional audits.

“We don’t tolerate any deviations,” he said, adding that there hadn’t been any in the previous three years, “so that’s the standard we follow.”

Counties begin their portion of audits Thursday and must complete them before certifying local election results starting next week, Caskey said.

The state board of canvassers must certify race results to state national offices by Sept. 1, Caskey said, adding that the exact date has yet to be set.

“It will depend on how quickly we do everything we need before certification,” he said.

Tyson, a state senator from Parker, was first elected to the Kansas House in 2010 and has served in the Kansas Senate since 2013. The conservative Republican chairs the Senate Taxation Committee.

Johnson, a state representative from Assaria, was also first elected to the Kansas House in 2010. He is the former chairman of the House Taxation Committee and currently chairs the Insurance and Pensions Committee. from the room.

The main winner will face Democrat Lynn Rogers for the seat in the general election in November. Democratic Governor Laura Kelly appointed Rogers, her lieutenant governor, to the office of treasurer last year after Republican Jake LaTurner was elected to represent Kansas’ 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The state treasurer manages the state budget and maintains a list of unclaimed property in Kansas.

This story was originally published August 3, 2022 12:15 a.m.

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Katie Bernard covers the Kansas Legislature and state government for the Kansas City Star. She joined the Star as a breaking news reporter in May 2019 before joining the political team in December 2020. Katie studied journalism and political science at the University of Kansas.


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