Aug 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Kansas to recount abortion vote ballots

Voters cast their ballots at the West Evangelical Free church in Wichita, Kansas.

Voters cast their ballots in Wichita, Kan. Photo: Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Kansas said it will review all ballots after voters rejected an anti-abortion rights amendment this month, as long as a woman who requested the recount foots the bill, the Associated Press reports.

Driving the news: Melissa Leavitt asked Kansas election officials to recount the ballots after voters rejected an amendment that would have eliminated the right to an abortion from the state's constitution.

  • The recount won't change the outcome of the vote, AP reports. Kansas voters rejected the amendment by roughly 165,000 votes with about 922,000 ballots cast.

State of Play: Leavitt wrote on a fundraising website she had “seen data ... that there were irregularities" on election night.

  • Kansas’ elections director Bryan Caskey said Saturday the state will honor the request to recount all the votes by hand. But Leavitt must cover the cost of the recount under state law.
  • Multiple attempts to contact Leavitt on Saturday were unsuccessful.

By the numbers: She currently has a goal of $275,000 on her online campaign. By Saturday afternoon, she had raised over $4,0o0.

  • The Kansas City Star reports that she posted a $200,000 bond for the recount with the Secretary of State’s Office.

What she's saying: “I’m just going to say the next 48 hours is going to have a lot to do with God moving in people’s lives,” she said in a TikTok video. “And if it’s going to happen it’s going to happen and if it doesn’t it doesn’t. But I’m praying. I’m praying that we get it.”

The big picture: The Kansas vote was the first on the issue since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez writes.

  • The state's constitution guarantees "equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
  • The state Supreme Court ruled in 2019 the provision includes the right to abortion, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
  • The amendment would have added language stating that "[b]ecause Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion."

Go deeper ... Kansas protects abortion rights in the first post-Roe vote

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