It was election night, Aug. 2, 2022—nearly two weeks ago. The nation held its breath as Kansas became the first state to test what the people would say about a public vote that, after the Dobbs decision, could ban access to abortion. Kansas Republicans were confident they would prevail. As county after county came in, it became apparent that Kansas voters disagreed. As of today, with some provisional ballots counted and finalized, the vote tally is the kind of blowout you would expect in a deep blue state: 543,855 voted against banning abortion in Kansas versus 378,466 voting in favor of the amendment. The decision to ban abortion was defeated by 165,389 votes. This is, by all measurable means, a landslide.
Kansas Republicans have offered a lot of reasons why the amendment didn’t succeed. At first, Sen. Molly Baumgardner and others offered the idea that the amendment failed because their own voters opposed it, concluding it did not go far enough in banning abortion and that instead of giving the right to the representatives, an amendment should have been proposed banning it entirely. Now some Kansas Republicans have an entirely new explanation: The entire election was only lost due to widespread fraud, and they are demanding a statewide recount.
After being told the recount would cost roughly $230,000, the Kansas Republican Assembly made a down payment but found their offer of a lien was rejected by the secretary of state’s office.
This has caused wide spread confusion in Kansas as to what happens next despite the fact the law is pretty clear on the subject matter.
While there will be a likely recount of the Republican state treasurer’s race, where fewer than 400 votes separate the two candidates and more than 18,000 provisional ballots remained as of this weekend, there is really no reason to believe you could overturn a margin as large as the one in the anti-abortion amendment.
Republicans are showing us their cards. This is a primary they lost, and lost badly. Save one county in Kansas, county clerks are overwhelmingly Republican. The secretary of state is Republican. Still, when things don’t go their way, the first claim is to deny reality and see fraud.
It’s sad to see how easily some have rejected reality. I prefer to live in it.
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Update: The groups asking have re-done their request, lowering it to 9 counties.