Ballot deadline passes, Constitutional Amendment fails by less than 1 percent

A sign, opposing proposed changes in the Kansas Constitution, stands in the grass in front of...
A sign, opposing proposed changes in the Kansas Constitution, stands in the grass in front of the Kansas National Education Association headquarters, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Topeka, Kan. One proposed change on the Nov. 8 ballot would make it easier for the Legislature to overturn agency rules. (AP Photo/John Hanna)(John Hanna | AP)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 8:26 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The tight races remained tight as Monday’s deadline for mail ballots to arrive at local elections offices passed.

Because of Veterans Day falling on Friday, ballots postmarked by Tuesday, Nov. 8 and arriving by Monday counted in the general election totals.

The Secretary of State’s Office posted the updated results Monday night, and the closest race remained the proposed Constitutional amendment that would have given the legislature oversight of state agency rules and regulations. Opponents argued it would unfairly shift the balance of power from the executive branch, and argued lawmakers already had a path to reverse regulations they felt overstepped. Supporters said the current authorities had not muscle, and allowed the executive branch to ignore legislative intent.

In the end, the amendment failed by 9,095 votes - a margin just shy of one percent. 465,422 people voted yes, while 474,517 voted no.

Provisional ballots remain to be added. Counties will consider those over the coming week, and the State Board of Canvassers must certify results by Dec. 1, at which time they will become official.

Two other statewide races were separated by a two-percent margin. In the Attorney General’s race, Republican Kris Kobach leads Democrat Chris Mann by 16,493 votes. In the Governor’s race, incumbent Democrat Laura Kelly is 20,866 votes ahead of Republican Derek Schmidt. Both Schmidt and Mann have conceded their respective races.

Under state law, a candidate may request a recount and the state will pay for a machine recount if the results are within one-half of one percent. For a ballot question, any registered voter may request a recount, though it was unclear if the state would pay the costs. Kansas law has no automatic recount trigger.