More discrepancies found in Kobach-Colyer vote totals

Published: Aug. 6, 2018 at 4:34 PM CDT
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Update: Friday, August 10, 2018

It looks like the number of votes separating Gov. Jeff Colyer and Sec. of State Kris Kobach will be changing when the state Election Office updates their numbers Friday.

Our sister station WIBW found at least four discrepancies between the number of votes recorded by the counties and numbers reported so far by the Secretary of State's Office.

Kobach entered the day with a reported 191 vote lead.

Adjusting for new numbers, his advantage had dropped to 100 by Thursday night.

Haskell Co.

The state website's total for Haskell Co. only reflected four of its seven precincts, as well as advanced voting. Haskell Co. says they had not submitted the full tally until the next day. By that time, the Sec. of State had posted its final unofficial count, which only included the four precincts total.

Going by the county's full totals, Kris Kobach will gain 147 votes, increasing from 110 to 257; while Colyer goes from 103 to 220. That gives Kobach a net gain of 30 votes.

Thomas Co.

In Thomas Co., an official there says the Sec. of State's Office misreported the numbers they submitted for Colyer. The county's report stated 522 votes. The state only entered 422, giving Colyer a 100 more votes. The clerk's office provided 13 NEWS with a copy of the form they sent to the state.

The difference was discovered when the state sent Thomas Co. an email to confirm its numbers, as is the standard validation process following an election.

Wyandotte Co.

Meanwhile, there are minor differences between the numbers on the Wyandotte Co. website and the state total. Going by the counties tally, Kobach loses up 24 votes, while Colyer lost six. If the county's numbers stand, Kobach's lead would fall back to 103.

Elk Co.

Elk Co. numbers bring a few more votes Colyer's way. Their numbers showed 233 votes for Colyer, while the Sec. of State's office listed 229, a four-vote difference.

The numbers for Kobach were the same.

Colyer requests recusal

13 NEWS is looking to see if there are any more discrepancies between the counties and the state. Kansas Director of Elections Bryan Caskey said the Secretary of State's numbers will be adjusted Friday to reflect any changes reported by the counties.

Late Thursday, Colyer sent a letter to the Sec. of State asking him to recuse himself from the "providing election advice to local election officials."

"Voters in Kansas who took the time to vote deserve to have their ballots counted," Colyer said.

Earlier in the day, Kobach told FOX News he would recuse himself if Colyer's camp requested it.

UPDATE: Thursday, August 9 - 9 p.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he will remove himself from the further counting of votes in his tight Republican primary race with Gov. Jeff Colyer.

But he said Thursday night that the move will be "symbolic," adding that counties do the work of counting ballots.

Kobach leads Colyer by 121 votes (104 counting an error reported in Wyandotte County), a minuscule number compared with the 311,000 ballots cast in Tuesday's election. County officials have yet to count some ballots.

Colyer demanded Thursday that Kobach stop advising county election officials.

Kobach told host Lou Dobbs on his Fox Business show that he would consider removing himself to make Colyer "feel good."

Later, facing questions from CNN host Chris Cuomo, Kobach said Colyer wants him to remove from further counting, "So I will."


UPDATE: Thursday, August 9 - 5:20 p.m.

Gov. Jeff Colyer is calling on Secretary of State Kris Kobach to recuse himself from "providing election advice to county election officers."

"Advising county clerks to discard mail-in ballots that were clearly mailed by Tuesday is unacceptable and must not stand," the governor said in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Associated Press learned of voting mistake recorded from the Thomas County numbers. The county clerk released a tally sheet showing Colyer with 522 votes and Kobach with 466, but the numbers entered on the secretary of state's website showed Colyer with only 422 votes.

The change narrowed the raced by from 191 to 91 votes.

Stick with Eyewitness News on-air and online for the latest on updates on the GOP primary race for governor.


UPDATE: Thursday, August 9 - 1:45 p.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's lead over Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican primary has been cut by more than half after election officials discovered a mistake in the listing for one county's results in the state's tally.

The mistake means Kobach's lead has fallen to only 91 votes from 191 when final results were reported after Tuesday's primary.

Final, unofficial results on the secretary of state's website show Kobach winning Thomas County in northwest Kansas with 466 votes to Colyer's 422.

But the tally posted by the Thomas County clerk shows Colyer with 522 votes. Clerk Shelly Harms confirmed the figure Thursday to The Associated Press.

State elections director Bryan Caskey said the county pointed out the discrepancy Thursday following a routine post-election check of numbers.

Kendall Marr, a spokesman for Governor Colyer's campaign, said this mistake highlights why canvassing is so important.

“The discovery of these 100 votes for Governor Colyer that were not included in Tuesday night’s results show the importance of getting this right. This is exactly why you have canvas, this is why you check your math, and this is why Gov. Colyer will ensure that every vote is counted fairly and accurately.”

In a separate statement, Marr said the governor's campaign had received several reports from voters who experienced issues when they voted on Tuesday.

"Many Colyer voters had difficulties finding his name on the ballot, were forced to vote on provisional ballots, or were turned away outright for unknown reasons," said Kendall Marr, spokesman for Governor Colyer.

Marr said the campaign had launched a "voter integrity hotline" to ensure every Kansas vote counts.


UPDATE: Wednesday, August 8 - 3:35 p.m.

Gov. Jeff Colyer said he remains hopeful and "very confident" that he still has a chance at a second term as the governor of Kansas.

He currently trails the Secretary of State Kris Kobach by a mere 191 votes in the Republican primary race for the seat.

Colyer said he's waiting for all of the votes from the primary to be counted before talking about a recount. About 10,000 provisional ballots could ultimately determine the 2018 Republican nominee.

"We need to get ready for the first count, and we want to make sure every legitimate vote is counted," he said. "And that's what our expectation is over the next couple of weeks."

During an earlier news conference, Kobach called for unity with the Republican party. He said having the lead he will begin campaigning, but if results change, he said he would "pass the baton" to Colyer.

"We have to begin running right now because our opponents have already started running," said Kobach earlier in the day.

Colyer said it's important to him that a Republican governor get elected in November.

"We are happy to work with Kris and with Wink should they win the primary election. We are happy to work with them," he governor said.

Colyer and Kobach traded leads most of Tuesday evening as votes were tallied across the state. In the end, the numbers focused on Johnson County which announced its totals early Wednesday morning and showed Kobach ahead.

Once the votes are official, either Kobach or Colyer will face off against Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly, and independents Greg Orman and Rick Kloos in the November 6 general election.

RIGHT NOW: Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer, who is behind Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach by 191 votes in the Republican Party gubernatorial primary, speaks to media. The latest on the election results >>

Posted by KCTV5 News Kansas City on Wednesday, August 8, 2018


UPDATE: Wednesday, August 8 - 12:26 p.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the GOP can't wait until the close party primary for governor is resolved next week to start campaigning against Democrats, so he will start immediately.

Kobach was leading Gov. Jeff Colyer in a race too close to call Wednesday morning. Kobach said it's possible that his current 191 vote advantage will disappear when outstanding votes are counted next week and that Colyer could end up being the nominee and "taking the baton" of the campaign.

But he said it's imperative that the party not wait to start the general election campaign, because the Democrats won't wait.

Colyer was not conceding the race. In a statement, he cited the close results and "extraordinary problems" in Johnson County, the state's most populous county.

WATCH LIVE: Secretary of State Kris Kobach and his running mate, Wink Hartman, will hold a press conference at noon in the Topaz room at the Topeka Plaza. #kwch12 #ksleg

Posted by KWCH 12 Eyewitness News on Wednesday, August 8, 2018


The Johnson County Election Office has released a statement regarding the delay in counting votes from Tuesday's Primary Election.

The statement says they remain confident that the integrity of the votes cast and the accuracy of the vote tabulation process.

They are waiting for a statement from the voting machine vendor today.

UPDATE: Wednesday, August 8 - 8:24 a.m.

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer issued a statement regarding the unofficial results of Tuesday's election, which puts his opponent Kris Kobach ahead of him by 191 votes.

"Given the historically close margin of the current tabulation, the presence of thousands of as yet uncounted provisional ballots and the extraordinary problems with the count, particularly in Johnson County, this election remains too close to call.

In the 2014 primary, 6333 provisional ballots were cast. The current margin is 0.06%. This is the equivalent of a 2 vote margin in a 5000 vote race with hundreds of votes left to count.

We are committed to ensuring that every legal vote is counted accurately throughout the canvassing process."

UPDATE: Wednesday, August 8 - 7:45 a.m.

The unofficial vote tallies are in from Tuesday's primary.

Those results, which now include Johnson County numbers, show Kris Kobach with a narrow lead of just 191 votes.

R-Jeff Colyer 126,066 41%

R-Kris Kobach 126,257 41%

The Secretary of State Tweeted that the unofficial tally does not include provisional ballots, some hand-counted ballots or ballots that were postmarked on or before Tuesday's election.

We will continue to follow the race, watch for updates as we get them.

UPDATE: Wednesday, August 8 - 5:30 a.m.

The Kansas Secretary of State's office says its final numbers will be posted just before 8:00 this morning.

We expect to learn who will be the Republican candidate for Kansas governor at that time. Kris Kobach and Jeff Colyer have been deadlocked with 95% of precincts reporting. Just 541 votes separate them.

Count on us for coverage on KSCW and on


UPDATE: Wednesday, August 8 - 5:00 a.m.

Polls closed last night, and most of the races have been called - but, with 95% of precincts reporting, the race for the Republican nomination for Kansas Governor is still too close to call.

Eyewitness News is live in Topeka County, where the final votes are still being tallied.

Count on us for updates throughout the morning on Eyewitness News. We are live until 7:00 a.m. on KWCH and from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. on KSCW.

UPDATE: Wednesday, August 8 - 1:30 a.m.

Following earlier addresses from challenger Kris Kobach and Lt. Governor Tracey Mann, incumbent Jeff Colyer took his turn to give a final message about the too-close-to-call GOP Primary race for Kansas governor. As of 1:30 a.m., Colyer trails Kobach by about 800 votes, but the governor is confident in his support in Johnson County where the final count should determine whose name will appear on November's ballot.

"Everybody's had a chance to vote. Now we let the process take its place," Colyer said about 1:15 Wednesday morning.

The governor said he'll address the media late Wednesday morning at the state capital after a final result comes into focus.


UPDATE: Wednesday, August 8 - 12:50 a.m.

Kris Kobach and Lt. Gov. Tracy Mann delivered final messages of the night early Wednesday, voicing confidence in an outcome that remains undecided in the GOP Primary for Kansas governor.

WATCH LIVE: Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann discusses the GOP Primary race for KS governor that remains too close to call.

Posted by KWCH 12 Eyewitness News on Tuesday, August 7, 2018


UPDATE: Tuesday, August 7 - 11:30 p.m. (AP report)

A Kansas official says long lines at some polling places delayed the reporting of election results in the state's most populous county.

State elections director Bryan Caskey said Tuesday night that some polling places in Johnson County remained open until about 8 p.m. to accommodate people who were in line to vote when polls officially closed at 7 p.m.

He said that led local officials to delay reporting their first results, from votes cast in advance.

Johnson County has nearly 408,000 registered voters, or almost 23 percent of the state's total of 1.8 million.

KCTV5 also reports it could take two to three hours before results are in from Johnson County due to computers running slow.

At this time, those numbers could decide the Kansas GOP gubernatorial race.


UPDATE: Tuesday, August 7 - 10:20 p.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Gov. Jeff Colyer are locked in a close Republican primary race for governor.

Colyer and Kobach topped a seven-candidate GOP field in Tuesday's election. President Donald Trump tweeted a full endorsement of Kobach on Monday.

Kobach is nationally known for advocating tough policies on illegal immigration and strict voter identification laws. He served as vice chairman of Trump's now-disbanded commission on election fraud after advising Trump's 2016 campaign and the White House.

Colyer had endorsements from Kansas political icon Bob Dole and the National Rifle Association in his quest to remain in office after becoming governor in January.

In the Democratic primary, state Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka held off challenges from former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and ex-Kansas Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty among the field of five candidates.


The state's current governor and its secretary of state lead a conservative field of gubernatorial candidates that hope to keep Kansas' top political office red.

Governor Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach have captured most of the headlines, but there are still seven names to choose from in Tuesday's Republican Primary that will narrow the field of gubernatorial candidates in the Nov. 6 general midterm election.

Joining Colyer and Kobach in the running are former state senator Jim Barnett, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Kim Selzer, Kansas City-area evangelist and entrepreneur Patrick Kucera and high school students Tyler Ruzich and Joseph Tutera Jr.

Further information on each candidate and their platforms:

Among areas where candidates differed during a July 10 gubernatorial forum hosted by KWCH was

Kobach and Colyer also

Re-watch the July 10 Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Forum in its entirety in the following links:

Polls Tuesday open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. If you plan to vote, but aren't sure where you need to go, click the link here: